About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Revolutionary War Stories and Vincent Tharp (my 6th great grandfather)

Home of Rev. Vincent Allen Tharp
(Click for larger view)

The other day when it was raining all day, I dug into some more family history on my dad's side.  My dad's mother was Flossie McCord.  Her parents were Arthur McCord and Olive (Crawford) McCord. 

Following the Crawford side back  Olive's father was Robert Crawford and her mother was Prudence Smith.  Prudence's father was John Sidney Smith.  John's mother was Elizabeth Tharp, who's father was Vincent Allen Tharp who was my 6th great grandfather.  Pretty boring so far right?  So far we've got some Scotch-Irish people (McCords and Crawfords) and some Smiths.  But the story I found about Vincent is pretty interesting.  Apparently he and his brothers and father fought in the Revolutionary War - against each other.  Following, is Vincent's story. 

In "Georgia Baptist Historical and Biographical" by J. H. Campbell he states "Vincent Tharp, a native of Stafford, Virginia was born in 1760 and bore arms in the cause of his country towards the close of the Revolutionary War." The family Bible gives the date of his birth as November 18, 1760. He came with his family into the Sumter District, South Carolina before the Revolution. When the British overran South Carolina and required all males between 15 and 60 to join the British Militia, in some way, Vincent Allentharpe did not obey this order. Even as his father and brothers joined the British, Vincent slipped away and joined the forces of General Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. He was taught to make nails in the blacksmith's shop. This knowledge served his well for years later he helped make nails for the Briar Creek Baptist Church in Warren County, Georgia. Owing to the hardness of the times, and his being a poor man at the time, he learned the gunsmith trade, and was said to be a superior workman. For his services he was given a land grant in Washington County, Georgia, in 1784.

Vincent is described as being tall, dark, a large man, with one blue and one brown eye.

He married a Miss Rogers in South Carolina about 1780. This marriage received a son and daughter before this Mrs. Allentharpe died sometime between January 1783 and 1786. Exactly when he moved to Georgia is uncertain for the early records were lost. On January 10, 1787 he married Sarah Pierson, a daughter of Jeremiah Pierson, who had moved from Fairfield County, South Carolina, to Warren County, Georgia.

Vincent was appointed a Justice of the Peace in Wilkes County, Georgia, on December 20, 1792. Also he was Justice of the Peace in Warren County, Georgia, on June 23, 1796. It was at this point tht he started signing his name Vincent A. Tharp. Vincent had dropped the Allen in his name as had all his other relatives in Georgia. From then on he signed his name A. Tharp and all the children, including the girls, used A. Tharp. Between 1850-1860 the A. was dropped and the name was Tharp. Another generation added the 'e' so the spellings of Tharpe.

The Allentharpe family attended Aquia church and St. Paul's church in Virginia. They were known as "Church of England." After the move to Warren County, Georgia, there was no Church of England in the neighborhood for after the Revolution the people hated the name of England and there were only six Church of England's left in all Georgia. Vincent joined Briar Creek Baptist Church in about 1800 as it was near his house. He was ordained as a minister shortly thereafter. He preached at several churches in the vicinity, including Sweetwater and Rocky Creek, and was the pastor of Briar Creek from 1802-1811.

In 1809 Vincent A. Tharp sent two sons and some slaves to build a house for him and his family in the Stone Creek neighborhood of Wilkinson County, Georgia. The house was built and the Tharp family moved into the house in 1811. He became pastor of the Stone Creek Baptist Church and remained until his death in 1825. Stone Creek was one of the earliest churches in the county and soon ecame an influential church. It was called the Mother Church for middle Georgia. Vincent served as Moderator of the Ebeneezer Baptist Association a number of years. He preached at Richland Baptist Church in Twiggs County and served other churches in the neighborhood.

This story is told of Vincent in a book by Mrs. McSwain. While preaching Vincent carried a small songbook in his pocket. One day his son, John, who was known for being mischievous, made a switch in the pocket contents. During the service when it was time to sing, Vincent reached in his pocket and pulled out a deck of cards. Everyone had a good laugh. Vincent, however, wasn't amused.

To this union of Vincent T. Allentharp and Miss Rogers two known children were born: 1. John A., born September 1, 1781 2. Mary A. born January 28, 1783
To the union of Vincent T. A. Tharp and Sarah Pierson eight known children were born: 1. Elizabeth, born September 11, 1787, died before 1829 2. William, born October 5, 1788, September 25, 1841 3. Charnick, born February 27, 1790, died November 19, 1867 4. Nancy, born January 15, 1792, died 1843 5. Jeremiah, born October 1, 1793, died June 26, 1870 6. Fletcher, born November 17, 1797, died September 12, 1825 7. Rebeccah, born October 3, 1801, died young 8. Sarah, born January 25, 1803.

Vincent died September 23, 1825, and was buried in the old cemetery on the top of a high, rocky hill near where they original Stone Creek Baptist Church then stood. Sarah Tharp continued to live in the old homeplace after Vincent's death. She died January 1, 1832, and was buried in the cemetery on the church grounds next to her husband. However her grave was never marked. A Daughters of the American Revolution Marker, was placed on Vincent's grave on October 30, 1955. It was said of him "benevolence and hospitality was prominent traits in his character."
An obit from the Macon paper says of Sarah “Died. On the 2d instant, at her residence in Twiggs County, Mrs. Sarah A. Tharp, widow of the late Rev. Vincent A. Tharp, in the 68th year of her age. She had been a member of the Baptist Church for many years previous to her death and died in the full triumph of her faith. The church with which she was connected has lost one of its brightest ornaments.”

On Monday, March 19, 1987, it was discovered that vandals had dug up the grave of Rev. Vincent A. Tharp. Thankfully the vandals had not dug deep enough to disturb the 162-year-old coffin and remains. The decision was made by family members to remove the graves from the now remote area and bring them down the hill to a safe setting. At this time it was noticed that on the bottom of Vincent's marker is the statement that it was made in Italy. The old markers were sent to America as ballast for a ship. This one came to Savannah, Georgia, and it was the custom in those days to haul the markers by oxcart the two hundred miles from Savannah. The graves were moved to the Davis Family Cemetery near Macon, and a dedication ceremony was set for June 6, 1987. This cemetery is located in a chin link fenced area, about a 100 yards off the north side of Franklinton Road, approximately 1-2 tenths mile off Highway 80 between Macon and Dry Branch, Georgia (closer to Dry Branch). Exit I-16 at Spring Street and take Highway 80 south 7 miles.

Vincent's father was Benjamin Tharp, who, as mentioned before fought for the British in the Revolutionary War.  There is no record in Virginia that states what became of him, but in England there is a record of the men where were massacred, butchered and hanged, either in their homes or after they had been taken prisoner.  Benjamin's name is on page 126 of  that record. 


Georgia Archives

History of Stone Creek Baptist Church

Gerogia Baptist Historical and Biographical, Early Ed.

Notes of the Allentharp and Tharp Families - Eleanor Davis

Sifting Through The Ashes - Eleanor Davis McSwain 1889

"Cousin" Lynda School

US Genweb Project - Twiggs County Georgia

The Macon Telegraph and News

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I may be crazy but, I've taken to doing dishes the old fashioned way - by hand.  I got tired of paying more and more money for dishwasher detergent.  And I got tired of that nasty white film on my glasses.  

In case you didn't know, the EPA made companies take the phosphates out of dishwasher detergent a while back and that is why you may be seeing more of the white film.  I even used vinigar as a rinse aid and still - the white film. 

So .... I decided enough was enough. 

 I bought the cute bamboo dish drainer at Ikea for $5.  They are sold elsewhere for $20 and up.  That might be the only thing I've found at Ikea that I like.  And I crocheted the scrubbie (actually a couple of them).  And the result - cleaner dishes!  The white film is gone, my glasses sparkle and even the coffee stains on my coffee cups are gone.  And I don't know for sure yet, but I suspect I'm saving on water and electricity too. 

It may sound time-consuming, but not really so much.  I find I'm fooling with dishes a lot less than when I was using the dishwasher.  Even after our Easter dinner (we had 10 people over for dinner and dessert) I had the dishes washed and put away in 20 minutes. 

I can deal with that. 

Interesting Family Story of Scottish-Irish Heritage

The other day my husband and I went for a drive through the beautiful southern Indiana countryside.  It was just a day to spend together, taking our time and enjoying whatever we found or chose to do.  One stop we made was at the Lemmon's Church in Ireland, Indiana.  There my great great grandfather, Albert C. Gray and my great great grandmother, Mary (Harris) Gray are buried. 

The Harris side has an interesting history.  Charles Harris (Herries) was from Scotland and had two sons, Edward and Charles.  Edward was born about 1620 in Aryshire, Scotland.  At some point they moved to Donegal, Ireland.  I don't know for certain why, but about that time in Scottish and Irish history some trouble was stirring. 

 The first major influx of Scots and English into Ulster had come in 1606 during the settlement of east Down onto land cleared of native Irish by private landlords chartered by James.[21] This process was accelerated with James's official plantation in 1609, and further augmented during the subsequent Irish Confederate Wars. The first of the Stuart Kingdoms to collapse into civil war was Ireland where, prompted in part by the anti-Catholic rhetoric of the Covenanters, Irish Catholics launched a rebellion in October. In reaction to the proposal by Charles I and Thomas Wentworth to raise an army manned by Irish Catholics to put down the Covenanter movement in Scotland, the Parliament of Scotland had threatened to invade Ireland in order to achieve "the extirpation of Popery out of Ireland" (according to the interpretation of Richard Bellings, a leading Irish politician of the time). The fear this caused in Ireland unleashed a wave of massacres against Protestant English and Scottish settlers, mostly in Ulster, once the rebellion had broken out. All sides displayed extreme cruelty in this phase of the war. Around 4000 settlers were massacred and a further 12,000 may have died of privation after being driven from their homes.[22][23] In one notorious incident, the Protestant inhabitants of Portadown were taken captive and then massacred on the bridge in the town.[24] The settlers responded in kind, as did the British-controlled government in Dublin, with attacks on the Irish civilian population. Massacres of native civilians occurred at Rathlin Island and elsewhere.[25] In early 1642, the Covenanters sent an army to Ulster to defend the Scottish settlers there from the Irish rebels who had attacked them after the outbreak of the rebellion. The original intention of the Scottish army was to re-conquer Ireland, but due to logistical and supply problems, it was never in a position to advance far beyond its base in eastern Ulster. The Covenanter force remained in Ireland until the end of the civil wars but was confined to its garrison around Carrickfergus after its defeat by the native Ulster Army at the Battle of Benburb in 1646.

At some point after they came to Donegal, Ireland, Edward must have been involved in this battle because on August 1, 1643 Edward was in Captain James Erskine's company of Raphoe in the regiment of foot soldiers commanded by (Sir) William Stewart.  Stewart was said to be from Ayrshire, Scotland so it is probable that his followers were from the same locality. 

In the Public Office of Dublin there is a roll containing the names of persons in the parish of Raphoe who paid the Hearth Tax in County Donegal on which appears the name Edward Harris.  There is also another Hearth Tax roll of Donegal in the Public Records Office, without a date, but about the year 1665. 

So we know that Edward lived in the parish of Raphoe in County Donegal where his old Commander Sir William Steward defeated the Irish in 1641.  It is likely that he received land for his military service. 

Many of the officers in the Scottish troops were Elders in the Presbyterian Church, and so it seems was Edward.  The minutes of the Laggan Presbytery, preserved in the Library of Mcgee College in Londonderry, Ireland, show that on Jan. 29, 1673, Edward Harris was a ruling Elder of Raphoe. 

At some point, Edward married Flora Douglass who was born about 1622 in Donegal, Ireland.  They had a son about 1660 in Donegal, Ireland - Robert Harris.  He immigrated with his family to America in the late 1720's - early 1730's.  Sadly, Robert died in sight of land and is said to be buried in Philadelphia, PA. 

Robert's son, James Harris was born in Donegal, Ireland and came to America with his father. 

From there, the line follows:

James Harris (born in Donegal, Ireland, died in North Carolina)
John Harris (born in Donegal, PA, died in South Carolina)
Nicholas Harris (born in South Carolina, died in Dubois County, Indiana)
Daniel Harris (born in South Carolina, died in Dubois County, Indiana)
and Mary Harris (born and died in Dubois County, Indiana)

It is believed that when they immigrated to America they found the coastal areas of the colonies to be already owned by previous immigrants, or too expensive and so they left for hill county where they could live more cheaply.