Archive for June, 2016

Five Year Plan haiku

June 27, 2016

This haiku is dedicated to my faith community. In the midst of the chaos of this world, we are encouraged to build our communities up. Build them in hope, serve those around us, though most will not be in our own faith group. Doesn’t matter. We visit people who need visits, do children’s classes on developing virtues, lead youth groups that study together and decide service projects for their own neighborhoods, and gather together for devotions to a God, no matter what your faith background. We tend to have goals based on a number of upcoming years. The one we have currently is for the next five years, to 2021. This is dedicated to their efforts.


For the next five years,

while the world comes crashing down,

We build beams of light.



Story of James Agnew, 1808-1880

June 21, 2016

Story of James Agnew, b.1808, d.1880  (my great-great-grandfather)

On Jan. 2, 1848, James marries Mary Ann Freeman, in Hamilton County, Ohio. This record was found on Mary was born in 1828 and lives to 1883.

In 1850, James and Mary are living in “Fulton Township,” Hamilton County, Ohio. Fulton was a smaller settlement just northeast of the original Cincinnati, but still right on the Ohio River. Between 1820 and 1840, the city of Cincinnati grew from 9642 to 46,338 people, and grew increasingly industrialized and polluted. James Agnew worked as a “ship carpenter”.

In the 1850 census, James says his birthplace was Ohio. He was born in 1808. He is living with his wife, Mary A. Freeman Agnew and they have an infant son, Alfred, one year old. An older Samuel Agnew, age 72 at the time of the census, is with them. It is not clear who Samuel is, if he is in fact living with them at that time, or visiting. A young boy, James, age 8, is also connected to them, linked by an asterisk after the name of Samuel Agnew but James age 8 is at the bottom of the page. We don’t know why he is listed at the bottom of the page, and we don’t know if he is indeed linked to Samuel because of some relationship or because Samuel is the last one listed in the Agnew household in the middle of the census page. In the 1850 census the family is listed in this order:

  • James, male, age 38, ship carpenter, born in Ohio, value of property owned: $3000.
  • Mary A. Agnew, age 22, born in Pennsylvania.
  • Alfred Agnew, age 1, male, born in Ohio.
  • Samuel Agnew, age 72, no occupation, born in Pennsylvania. *
  • * listed at the bottom of the page, after other families are listed, comes James, age 8, born in Ohio, attended school within the year.

The date of the 1850 census is Aug. 2, 1850. The birthday of James, age 8, is July 10, 1841. We know for a fact this is my great-grandfather James Agnew, because of later developments with this family. The younger James brings his daughter, Hellen, to the older James’ household to live with them. She is listed as the older James’ “adopted daughter” but she is, in fact, the younger James’ daughter. This is documented by newspaper records from New Albany, Indiana, that state the younger James had to fight for repossession of his daughter Hellen after another lady cared for her for some time.


In 1860, the family is living in the 17th ward of Cincinnati, but post office “Fulton”. The census taker came to their door on June 12th. James’ age is now listed as “50”. (Per the 1850 census, it should be 48.) So his birthdate could be somewhere between 1808 and 1810. His occupation is “joiner”, real estate value now only 300., still says he was born in OHIO. Mary A. now says she is “30”. (Per the 1850 census, she should be 32.) She still lists her birthplace as Pennsylvania.

They have the following children with them:

  • Alfred, age 11
  • Mary E., age 9
  • Elizabeth, age 6 (Lizzie)
  • Florence, age 5
  • Sarah, 8 months

Alfred, Mary and Elizabeth attended school in the past year. The children were all born in Ohio. The younger JAMES would now be 18 years old and has left home.


In 1870, the family is living in Sycamore Township, post office Montgomery, Hamilton County, Ohio. The census taker came on June 6th. James is now 61 years old and is listed as a farmer. Mary Ann is 42 and “keeps house”. James still says he was born in Ohio and Mary in Pennsylvania. Neither of them list their parents as “of foreign birth”.

Children living with them in 1870 are:

  • Alfred, age 21, “at home”
  • Mary E., age 19, school teacher
  • Elizabeth, age 16, goes to school
  • Florence is not there, but there is a NEW child, “Herman”, age 15! ??
  • Sarah (“D”?), age 10.


The 1880 census was done on June 1st, 1880. They are living in Sycamore Township, Hamilton County, Ohio. James is 71 years old and a farmer. Mary Ann is 54 and “keeping house”. James was born in Ohio but, in this census, has his parents as born in Pennsylvania, as does Mary. Mary lists her birthplace as PA also.

Who is living with them?

  • Mary E., age 29
  • “Lizzie”, age 26
  • Sallie, age 20 (Sarah)
  • And Hellen, age 8, “adopted daughter” and actually the daughter of James the first son (validated in a newspaper story from New Albany, IN). Hellen is listed as born in Indiana.

All the daughters are listed as being single. Why would all the daughters still be living at home, unmarried? Hellen’s parents are listed as father born in Ohio, mother in Indiana, which is consistent with the younger James’ life story. He married his first and second wives in Indiana.

James Agnew, born in 1808, dies Dec. 28, 1880. He died of a ruptured blood vessel and is buried in IOOF cemetery, Madisonville, Ohio (Cincinnati area). Mary Ann died Feb.11, 1883 of pneumonia and is buried here. Their daughter, Sarah B., died of consumption June 30th 1880 and is buried here. She would have been the first death. The marker is quite tall and is in section “H” of Laurel IOOF cemetery, Cincinnati. (Someone took a picture of it for me; I have not yet seen it.


Grandchildren go home

June 19, 2016

Giggles laughter gone,
Companionship like shadows
Drift into the night.

This day is ending,
Nightfall descends with singing,
Locusts serenade.


           cfblack, 6-16-2016, after a 4-day grandkids visit

Writing seven chapters in summer of ’08

June 9, 2016

Painful memories,

dissertation in three months,

the tortured summer.


A dozen notebooks,

my forty-six interviews,

they still talk to me.

Old Books

June 8, 2016

I find your old books,
remnants of you in my hands,
your love of knowledge.

in memory of my father as I unpack boxes. And tonight, I miss him again.

cfblack, 6-8-2016

Summer Off

June 7, 2016

With the summer off,
Morning is when sun comes up,
Night is cricket songs.

Alexander Black – ancestor

June 4, 2016

Alexander Black was born on a ship coming from Ireland to the Virginia coast.

Virginia (birth) to Kentucky (death)

(He owned 6 slaves at the time of his death.) This story is posted on but his gravesite is unknown.

William’s sister, Elizabeth, directed that one male slave be freed at the time of her death.

ALEXANDER BLACK — born at sea, coming from IRELAND with his parents.
Birth: 1710
Death: 1764
Augusta County
Virginia, USA

Alexander was born “at sea” from Ireland probably arriving with his parents to Philadelphia (as most Scots-Irish did at that time). First records of him (along with the Hicklins, Millers & McCrearys) are in Augusta County (now Bath County), Virginia in 1746 in a land grant (Bullpasture valley). Augusta County was officially formed from Orange County in 1738. It wasn’t until 1745 that the first court was held.

His parents probably died in Pennsylvania as no trace of them are found in the Augusta County records. His father was probably named William (Scots-Irish naming patterns).

His wife was probably named “Jane” (Scots-Irish naming patterns). All issue born in Augusta County, VA area where Alexander and “Jane” remained until their deaths.


1. William Black (1735-1740 – Feb 14, 1811) m. Sarah Hicklin

2. Mary Black (ca. 1742 – aft 1827) m. Patrick Miller

3. Elizabeth “Peggy” Black (1743 – ) m. William Feemster /Feamster / Phemster / Pheamster.

ERRORS on web that Elizabeth married Thomas!
Pg. 312 – Emancipation by Elisabeth Feemster (X) at her death of Negro man Jerry, purchased at sale of late husband Thomas Feureter’s [sic, s/b Feamster] estate, June 26, 1804.
Wit: Mathew Wallace and Alexander Taylor
[Abstract of Wills and Inventories of Bath County, 1791-1842, Bruns, pg. 40]

4. Nancy Black ( – aft 1764) m. Thomas McClung (FAG 148146744)

5. Rachel Black (1750 – 1822) m. George Givings.

6. Alexander Black, Jr (1752 VA – April 18, 1827 KY) m. Agnes “Nancy” Kinkead (1766-1818). No issue

Alexander Black, Sr qualified as Lieutenant of Foot Soldiers before the County Court in Augusta County on August 20, 1752 in the local defense for the community.

Alexander is probably buried at the Blue Spring Presbyterian Church near the village of Williamsville in Bath County. Location of his wife’s grave is unknown but probably in the same area.

Much of the information above is taken from Chalkey’s Chronicles of Augusta County, Virginia.

For more information & sources see

Submitted by 5th g-granddaughter, Brenda

Family links:
William Black (1738 – 1811)*
Mary Black Miller (1742 – ____)*
Rachel Black Givens (1750 – 1822)*
Alexander Black (1752 – 1827)*

*Calculated relationship

Body lost or destroyed
Specifically: Gravesite is unknown
Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]
Created by: Brenda Black Watson
Record added: Aug 29, 2015
Find A Grave Memorial# 151389918
Birth: 1738
Augusta County
Virginia, USA
Death: Feb. 14, 1811
Clark County
Kentucky, USA

(The area that became Augusta County was settled primarily by the Scots-Irish in the early 1730s. Formed from Orange County, Augusta County was created in 1738.)

He married Sarah Hicklin 1763 in Augusta, Virginia. All issue born in Augusta, Virginia

“William Black and His Descendants” Book by Raymond Finley Hughes

WILLIAM BLACK must have been born about the year 1735. His parents were pioneer settlers in the Cowpasture River valley of Augusta County, Virginia, now Bath County. It was in this valley that he grew to manhood and received his early training as a soldier on the frontier, being soon occupied in the defense of his country, first against the French and Indians and later in the War of the Revolution. He served in the Virginia Colonial Militia, being on the muster roll of Captain George Wilson’s company on August 11, 1756 and was in William Preston’s company of Rangers in 1757. Among the Draper Papers in the Wisconsin Historical Society library at Madison, Wisconsin is the original receipt book of Captain William Preston, in which is found two receipts signed by WILLIAM BLACK, and dated October 5, 1757, for thirty four shillings for thirty four days pay as soldier at Fort Lewis under command of Sergt. Hugut. The other is for two pounds thirteen shillings, in full pay from June 8 to November 29, 1757. Fort Lewis was a fort on the Cowpasture River about five miles from where the Blacks lived. WILLIAM BLACK also served in Captain Preston’s company of Rangers during the year 1758. In the Augusta County records, order book 17, page 183, dated February 15, 1780, he was allowed Land Bounty certificate No. 2566 for his military service in Captain William Preston’s company of Rangers in 1758. This military land was granted by the King’s Proclamation of 1763 for soldiers who fought against French and Indians. In the Jefferson County land entries at Louisville, Kentucky, Vol. A, page 141, on June 22, 1780, William Black enters fifty acres of land on a military warrant, on the north side of the Rolling Fork opposite John Simpson’s preemption and to run up and down the river for quantity. At the same time he also enters one hundred and fifty acres on another warrant, on the south side of the Rolling Fork adjoining Simpson’s preemption on the east. This land is situated in what is now Marion or Casey Counties.

On January 12, 1763 William Black was united in marriage to Sarah Hickling, daughter of Thomas Hickling, another early pioneer of the Cowpasture River settlement in Augusta County and a close neighbor and friend of the Black family. Thomas Hickling bought 348 acres on a branch of the Cowpasture river from Andrew Lewis on January 6, 1756, Lewis having patented the same on June 11, 1750. Thomas Hickling died in the fall of 1771. He was the father of seven children as follows: Hugh, John, Thomas, Roseannah Johnson, Jane Laverty, Dinah Botkin and Sarah Black.

WILLIAM BLACK served in the Dunmore War being in the company of Captain John Lewis which was raised at Warm Springs, and was in the battle of Point Pleasant, fought October 10, 1772, where the Kanawha river empties into the Ohio.

WILLIAM BLACK also served in the Revolution. In the Council Journals of the State of Virginia, Vol. 1, page 310, under date of Saturday 11, 1777, appears an order “that a warrant be issued to William Black for one hundred and twenty seven pounds eighteen shillings, upon account together with instructions to recruit a first lieutenant’s quota of men for a company of regulars in the service of this State. Bond executed, acknowledged and ordered to be filed.” During the war he became Captain of this company and was occupied in the defending of his country against the inroads of the Indians and British. I have been unable to find any record pertaining to this company or anything about its length of service or activity as there seems to be no record of the Augusta County soldiers who took part in the Revolution. According to tradition it was a company of mounted men that did scout work during the war.

Sarah Black, like her husband, also served her country in the Revolution. In the Virginia State Library at Richmond is found a loose leaf file of Public Claims of Augusta County and therein appears the following: “Augusta County January 9th 1781. We being mutually chosen and then sworn, do appraise forty four yards of five hundred linen the property of Sarah Black, to fifteen pounds per yard. Also the making the same into two tents twenty fore pounds it being impressed for the use of Augusta militia ordered for the defense of eastern frontiers by Colonel Sampson Mathers. Certified by us the day and year above written. Signed William Shields Neal Deare”

In the Kentucky Historical Society publication for 1924 appears the following: “Sarah Black and William Black receive pay in services under General Clark, (about 1780).”

WILLIAM BLACK WITH HIS WIFE AND ENTIRE FAMILY moved to Clark County, Kentucky in 1792, launching above the mouth in Deckers Creek (Red Stone, old fort) and came down the Ohio, landing at Limestone, Ky. (now Maysville) and then overland to Clark County. Two years before he brought his family to Kentucky, he and his brother, Alexander, drove their cattle through to Clark County. On October 20, 1795 he bought of Samuel Henderson 106 acres on Hancock Creek, also called Stoney Fork. This was part of the 1400 acre Henderson grant. In the register of the Kentucky State Historical Society for 1923, in Vol. 21, page 204 under Certificate Book date of Feb. 11, 1780 appears the following: When the Court met, William Black by Alexander Black claimed a preemption of one thousand acres of land at the State Price in the District of Kentucky, because he had improved the same in the year 1776, on a branch of the Town Fork of Salt River, and adjoining the lands of Thomas Simpson on the north side, and to include his improvements. His claim was granted and a certificate issued.” This land is situated in the northern part of what is now Nelson County, and was sold by him in 1806.

WILLIAM BLACK died Feb. 14, 1811. His place of burial is unknown. His farm was sold by his heirs on Dec. 10, 1811, to Robert Cunningham for $2,025. At the time of his death he was the owner of six slaves. His will, which was written Nov. 17, 1806, in which he makes disposition of his property, is on file at Winchester, Kentucky.

William and Sarah Hickling Black were the parents of the following eight children.

1. Margaret Black b. 1763 m. John McCreery
2. Alexander Black b. 1765 m. Jane Crockett
3. George Black b. 1767 m . Elizabeth Miller, dau of Patrick Miller
4. Jane Ginny Black b. 1772 m. John Peebles
5. William Black, Jr b. 1780
6. Rachel Black b. 1782 m. John Barns
7. Robert Black b. 1786 m. Eleanor Wilson
8. Nancy Black b. 1789 m. Robert Patton

The healing process

June 4, 2016

The healing process

wanting to be done with this

need to build up strength.


June 4, 2016

Leaving meds behind

Fog clears, he is able to

put together words.



June 4, 2016

These are some I wrote, thinking back.


The paraplegic

unable to leave his bed

but with mind racing.


Elephant Man

The Elephant man

Different from the ones he loves

can’t come out to play.