Abner Franklin Carroll BioSketch


Abner Franklin Carroll was the youngest of five sons born to Seymor Douglas 'Dee' Carroll and Julia Ann Akin Carroll. Brothers Charley and Eli were twins and just five years older, and like the second born son Joseph, all lived and raised their families in Dyer County, Tennessee, staying near their parents and grandparents, Solomon Douglas and Elizabeth Vannoy Carroll.

Frank Carroll came to Texas in the late 1890's and settled in Cleburne, Johnson County, Texas with his brother Stephen Bennett Carroll Stephen died in 1903 leaving Frank and their Aunt Palymyra Akin Thedford and her husband John Thedford as the only Tennessee connection and kin to Stephens widow Martha Jane Marley Carroll and four children.

Frank met and married Winnie Mary Griffin around 1918-19. It is believed that Frank and Winnie met through his Aunt Palmyra Thedford who lived on Wilson Street in the same neighborhood as Winnie's parents.

Winnie and Frank had two daughters:
Eloise Carroll Skinner - December 2, 1920-January 22, 2015
Mary Helen Carroll Kemp - April 8, 1923 - June 1990

Frank died in November 1926 at the age of 45 as a result of a construction accident in a railroad yard in Cleburne, leaving Winnie to raise their daughters. Winnie resided at 515 West Wilson Street in Cleburne which had been the home of Frank's Aunt Palmyra. She supported herself and educated her daughters by working as a Church Secretary.

His Memorial was first submitted by the Texas Confederate States Army...Tennessee Corporal 12th Cavalry I. At the age of 16 A. Franklin Carroll enlisted to serve in the Spanish American War/Conflict, April-August 1898.

 The application(4-24-1928) for his headstone verifies his service and Veteran Status. The headstone was verified and shipped to Cleburne Memorial Cemetery Sept. 9, 1930. 

The photo portrait is from Martha Jane Marley Carroll's Photo Album from the late 1890's early 1900's.

Obituary Mrs. Winnie Carroll
Dallas Morning News July 26, 1958
CLEBURNE, Texas - Mrs. Winnie Carroll of Cleburne, died at home of daughter, Mrs. Charls Kemp, in Dallas.  Funeral services will be held at 10 am Saturday at the First Baptist Church, Cleburne.  Interment will be in Restland Cemetery, Dallas.  Born in Bono, Texas, she was a member of Eastern Star, Magazine Research Club, Garden Club, active in civic, social affairs.  She was secretary of the First Baptist Church of Cleburne 15 years.  Graveside services will be held at 2 pm Saturday at Restland.  Survivors are daughters, Miss Eloise Carroll of Dallas;  Mrs. Charles Kemp; one sister, Mrs. John Leonard of San Francisco; one brother, Dewey Griffin, North Little Rock, Ark.; and three grandsons.


Hello Kitty....

...I found you!
After years of searching through thousands of names in my Family Tree on ancestry...I found 'Kitty'.   Not on ancestry, but of all places...in my Aunt Irene's notes...

..."Frank Carroll -Tennessee (probably) brother of Steve Bennitt Carroll, visited M.J. Carroll in Treadway, Texas.  He was selling white Rotary Sewing Machines.  He had a handwriting as that in a penmanship school book.  Frank Carroll, on this visit, spoke of sister 'Kitty' whom Mary Ella Carroll favored - (physical resemblance)."

There it was, the name 'Kitty'.  I have read and re-read that paragraph many times.  I missed 'Kitty' perhaps because I was so intent on researching and trying to identify Abner Franklin Carroll, who Irene referred to as Frank Carroll.

The photo of Kitty is from my Great Grandmother Martha Jane Marley Carroll's 1900's Album, and has been on my 'Unknown' list for years.  All along I felt she had to be related to Great Grandfather Stephen Bennett Carroll, but a sister?  Not on his ancestry profile along with Frank and twin brothers Ely and Charlie.  The closest name to Kitty was the Carroll brothers grandmother Katherine.  So who is Kitty?  It's back to ancestry's search!

She was....Katherine Elizabeth 'Kitty' Carroll Arnett.  Born in 1884 in Dyer County, Tennessee.   Married Joseph E. Arnett on Christmas Eve in 1903.  Mother of daughters Christine and Reba and son Corliss B. Arnett.  Listed in US Census from 1910 through 1940 (last Census released).   On Find A Grave, she Rests In Peace beside her husband Joseph in Fairview Cemetery, Newbern, Dyer County, Tennessee.  Inscription on stone...married Dec. 24, 1903...no birth date, no death date, no links to any Carroll Family.  Kitty's husband died in 1961, daughter Christine in 1974, daughter Reba in 1989, and son Corliss in 1978.  No mention of 'Kitty' in any of their profiles after the 1940 Census.

What a mystery!  Even knowing her full name and year of birth, I have not found a single clue as to who her parents were.  After hours of researching any and all Carrolls who could possibly be her parents, I am considering the idea that Kitty may have been adopted by Stephen and Frank's parents Seymour Douglas and Julia Carroll. 

Their youngest son Frank was born in 1881, and after four boys, perhaps they wanted a sister for Frank to grow up with as his brothers were all much older.  Somehow that scenario fits the time period, Franks mentioning of her, and Martha Jane knowing Kitty as her sister-in-law.

What is even more promising from this scenario is the resemblance of Kitty's young picture (blurry as it is) to another 'Unknown' photo in the Album. Could it be that Kitty and her daughters came to Texas to visit Frank?
It could have happened! 


Tennessee Kin and Kitty

These Unknown's may only ever be known to Great Grandmother MJ Carroll.  However, I will continue to scrutinize, dissect, and research them from their facial features, clothing styles, photography studio sets and profile portfolios until.....whenever!  I do have some idea about the couple in the bottom right corner, and have narrowed their identities down to Great Grandfather Stephen B. Carroll's relatives.  Possibly his Aunt Palmyra with husband John Anderson Thedford and daughter Naomi. 

The most mystifying and I must admit, the most frustrating in finding even one clue as to who they are is the top left photo I have named 'Tennessee Kin'.  Because it was taken in the same studio, at the same time, and was included in the same Family Album, I feel confident they are related to Great Grandfather Carroll.  It's another 'Unknown' photo I have turned inside out, upside down, and every which way in researching possibilities that fit the ages and relationships of these three women.  Perhaps, one day a hint will turn up in the most unexpected place....like Kitty's did.

"Frank Carroll -Tennessee (probably) brother of Steve Bennitt Carroll, visited M.J. Carroll in Treadway, Texas.  He was selling white Rotary Sewing Machines.  He had a handwriting as that in a penmanship school book.  Frank Carroll, on this visit, spoke of sister 'Kitty' whom Mary Ella Carroll favored - (physical resemblance)."

There it was, the name 'Kitty'.  I have read and re-read that paragraph many times.  It was from notes my Family Historian Aunt Irene wrote on a visit with MJ and Steven Carroll's oldest son, Othello. I missed 'Kitty' perhaps because I was so intent on researching and trying to identify Abner Franklin Carroll, who Irene referred to as Frank Carroll.

What a priceless piece of information about Frank being a Rotary Sewing Machine salesman.  The statement about his penmanship...a keen and personal observation that gives insight to Frank's character and person from his nephew, Othello.

As for Kitty being the sister of Frank...I'm afraid either Othello was misinformed or Irene misinterpreted Kitty's relationship to Frank.  Never the less, after digging in Frank and Steven's Tennessee families, I have not found a single Kitty.  Frank and Steven were two of four brothers with Steven being the oldest, twins Eli and Charlie next, and Abner Franklin the youngest.

Could there have been a sister Kitty?  Is it possible I have missed her more than once?  Will I go back and scrutinize my Tennessee ancestors more closely?  Is it possible that Kitty is the woman in the photo 'Tennessee Kin'?  I aim to find out!!!


Great Grandmother's 'Brick Wall' Maiden Name

Come to find out Great Grandmother Martha Jane Carroll's maiden name was not the proverbial 'Brick Wall' I had made it out to be.  After inheriting her 1890-1910 Photo Album full of unidentified pictures...except for one where she had written her name and the names of her children, the search to identify these obviously related people began. 

After long hours of online searching for a birth record, marriage record and even a death record...none of which were found, I turned to my Aunt Irene's somewhat all over the place in time, hand written family history notes.

There it was...Martha Jane Marley (daughter of E.S. Marley and Mary Josephine Leatherwood ?)  Thankfully...no question mark after the name Marley. In addition...Married in Cleburne, Texas, Jack County.   Her notes included the names of Martha Jane and Steven B. Carroll's children, their birth dates, and the death date of great grandfather Steven and the fact that he was buried in Cleburne.

At last I had not just one maiden name, but two...Marley and Leatherwood.  Both names opened a flood gate of Family Histories dating back to the American Revolution and the establishment of
The Pittman-Carroll-Marley-Leatherwood Family Tree
 Tracks of My Texas Ancestors
and a greater respect for
Irene's Old School Genealogy Record Keeping!


ABOUT Tracks of My Texas Ancestors

Welcome to Tracks of My Texas Ancestors
A Collection of Family History and Genealogy Research
of my
Father's Texas Pioneer Families
Our Family Mesquite Tree has grown deep roots in Ward County Texas where my
Great Grandfather George Washington Pittman journeyed from Georgia in the 1890's.

Mesquite trees grow in twisted and intertwining branches, survive in a difficult environment and produce a bountiful crop of beans, so the comparison to the Pittman/Carroll/Marley/Leatherwood Family is appropriate. Two of these Family names became intertwined with the marriage of Pittman Brothers to Carroll Sisters which produced a bountiful crop of 'Double Cousins', and a long line of descendents throughout the state of Texas and the Southwest.
My siblings and I are the 5th Generation of these West Texas Pioneer Ancestors. We were raised where our great grandfather, grandfather and father put down roots. Our Family Geneaology Study and Documentation began with my Aunt Irene who spent countless hours researching Historical Societies from Georgia to Texas. Her many pages of 'Family Group Logs', notes, letters and memorbilia have given me an unprecedented head start.

The primary reason for 'Tracks of My Texas Ancestors' is to have a
Journal/Record for the Present and Future Decendents to:
Always regard with esteem the name they were given with
praise and renown that it should endure.

You are invited to read the stories, view the photos, and enjoy the Posts!
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is registered on Ancestry.com.
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The Family Stories are fiction based on fact.
Sandra Sue Pittman..all rights reserved.
The Photographs are from the Author/Photographer's Personal Collection...all rights reserved.

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Born On The 4th of July

Finding an ancestor born on the 4th of July took me back to Colonial America and my paternal 2x great grandmother's maiden name.  The name is fourth in line in my Pittman, Carroll, Marley, Leatherwood Family Tree on ancestor.com.  Out of 1,550 names there was just this one person born on the 4th of July.

Fannie Frances Leatherwood was born in the midst of turmoil leading up to the Revolutionary War.  Her parents, Zachariah and Mary Nancy Stone Leatherwood of Prince William, Virginia Colony, had endured the effects of the French and Indian War, the Sugar and Currency Acts of 1764.

 Five years before her birth violent demonstrations against the Stamp Act occurred.  These demonstrations resulted in the Virginia Resolve and ultimately in the Stamp Act Congress which petitioned Parliament and King George to repeal the Act. 

In the months before her birth in 1770, were two major conflicts between the Colonist and the British in what would become the American Revolution.  The Battle of Golden Hill in January 1770 between British soldiers and the colonists known as the Sons of Liberty took place in New York. The second incident which was widely propagandized by leading Patriots like Paul Revere and Samuel Adams was the Boston Massacre.  On March 5, 1770 British soldiers killed five civilian men and injured six others after a mob formed in protest of Parliamentary Legislation. 

The Leatherwood family survived the American Revolution as residents of Prince William, Virginia, and in the late 1790's migrated to Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Frances along with husband John Edwards and their children followed her parents to South Carolina then to North Carolina and eventually settled in Jackson/Bartow County, Georgia.

Their settlement in Jackson County is somewhat of a Family Tree coincidence as this was one of the home counties of the Pittman's, who five generations later would become related through the Texas marriage of my paternal Leatherwood-Marley-Carroll grandmother to my Georgia born Pittman grandfather.  Jackson County was changed to Bartow County in 1861 in honor of Colonel Francis S. Bartow.

Frances Leatherwood married John Edwards on October 6, 1871 in Prince William, Virginia, a veteran of the American Revolution.   Frances and John had eleven children.  John died in 1838, just three years after settling in Georgia.  Frances was last listed in the 1850 US Census when she was 81 years of age.

Although her exact death date is not known, she and John's burial markers are most likely lost in the abandoned grave yard at Pettite Creek Cemetery near what is now Bartow County, Georgia. 

Only one grave marker remains...that of their son Colonel Zachariah Edwards who was celebrated as the most popular man in Spartanburg on July 4, 1832...his mother's 61st birthday. 

On this July 4, 2016 I honor and celebrate my 6x Great Aunt Frances' 246th Birthday.  Thanks for the remarkably patriotic Family History, Fannie Frances Leatherwood Edwards.  Rest in Heavenly Peace and know you are remembered in the Pittman-Carroll-Marley-Leatherwood Family Tree.

PS...As was the tradition, children were often named after family members.  Fannie and Frances/Francis were given names of both girls and boys in the Leatherwood Family.  In the realm of the 'Meaning of Given Names',  Fannie/Frances/Francis means FREE, and people with this name value truth and justice.  What a fitting name for a child 'Born on the 4th of July'.