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Don't forget: The Skillern family reunion at the Skillern Family Cemetery in Nacogdoches County, Texas will be held, as always, on the Saturday after Mothers' Day. This year, it will be on May 16th. Member Mary Nan (Fitch) Story tells us that people start gathering around 9 a.m. CDT and take a family photo around 11 o'clock. Everyone brings a dish and lunch is held at noon. You can learn more about this great event by viewing the cemetery photos and article below and all the photos we have from earlier reunions on the All the Latest page. Let's hope this is the best reunion yet! We have a new member! We're now discussing Skillerns who worked in artistic occupations at the bottom of the Genealogy page. We have a new family photo at the bottom of the Newsletter Bonus and Family History page. Please respond to the poll on this page if you haven't yet as it will help us determine the future of the site. We have some great new photos, courtesy of club member Lori Cox Lynch. I've added the first two to the slideshow at top: Margaret Melinda "Maggie" (Anderson) [Bowman] McBride (and children) and Mary Arkie (Bowman) Curtis. Thank you, Lori!
This house was in Nacogdoches County, Texas. But, there's a mystery. Who can identify the location of the house? It is believed to have been near the Skillern Family Cemetery. Family members are really hoping to find out. The photo was taken around 1908. This new photo has been enhanced by Jimmy Kendrick and he added the names to the photo. Thank you, Jimmy! Update: Linc Skillern has added that he believes the photo was taken at the home of Charles Isaac "Charlie" Skillern in Cherokee County, TX during a visit by Radford Berry Skillern.
Send us your Skillern family photos and we will share them with the club.
Jerry Faye (Skillern) Fuller sent us this great pic of the Charles Isaac Skillern Family circa 1901.
L to R: Charles Chester "Uncle Check" Skillern, Dewey Datry "Uncle Hooker" Skillern, Charles Isaac "Charlie" Skillern, Nancy Elizabeth "Nannie" (Smith) Skillern, Elma Ossie (Skillern) Evans, and Vera Gertrude "Aunt Gert" (Skillern) Evans.
The family later had four more children: Carl Benjamin Skillern, Sr., Wilma Myrtle (Skillern) Lucas, Bertha Corinne "Aunt Bert" (Skillern) Fitch, and Ruth Oleta (Skillern) Mitchell.
Today we conclude our series on the Skillern Family Cemetery in Nacogdoches County, Texas. Here is a list of those known to be buried there.
December 9, 1831 to sometime after 1877
We'll get started by naming the Andersons who married into the Skillerns in Sammy's direct family. Send us your Anderson/Skillern connections.
William Skillern I married Elizabeth Anderson. She was born around 1710 in County Donegal, Ireland. She died sometime after 1771 in Augusta County, Virginia. Boy, did her life take a turn for the dramatic after his death. She unwittingly married a conman named Ute Perkins who used aliases of John Bland, John Anderson and James Anderson. It seems he thought he had found a lonely widow to prey upon. Elizabeth wound up in several court battles related to this marriage and is believed to have eventually married a Moran prior to her death.
William and Elizabeth's son William Skillern II married Mary "Polley" Anderson. She was born June 5, 1747 in Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia and died May 28, 1832 in Scott County, Virginia.
Their daughter Rebecca Skillern married William Anderson who was born October 31, 1776 in Botetourt County, Virginia and died October 22, 1855 in Bledsoe County, Tennessee. Interestingly, both of their fathers fought in the Revolutionary War.
Their son, Audley Maxwell "Edley" Anderson married Mary Ann "Polly" Skillern. He was born February 4, 1805 in Virginia and died sometime after 1880, probably in Bledsoe County, Tennessee.
I think it can be safely assumed that the primary reason these families kept marrying into each other is that they had a tremendous mutual respect. They lived in close proximity from the mid-1700s until at least the 1830s.
John Anderson, Sr. was the father of eight children, two of whom married Skillerns, making him a direct ancestor for many of us. He was a captain in the Revolutionary War and a colonel in the Virginia militia. He even served as sheriff of Scott County, VA. But, John is known most for his building of the Anderson Blockhouse. Sammy has added a lot of information about Colonel John Anderson and the Blockhouse here. You can also information about a book on the subject below.
We have just purchased a world explorer subscription to Ancestry and are hopeful this will help us with research across the pond. Thus far, we have tracked the Anderson family back to Central Anderson, who had a child, Ulster Anderson. Ulster was born in Scotland around 1665 but died in Ireland. His son, John Anderson, is a direct ancestor of many of us. John married Margaret -- we think her maiden name was Campbell but we can't confirm it, yet. They married around 1709 in Ulster, County Donegal, Ireland. John was born around 1690 in Scotland while Margaret was born around 1691 in Larnark, Scotland. She died in Augusta County, Virginia while he died in Cumberland County, Virginia. They had more than six children, all seemingly born in Ireland. The family emigrated from Ireland to Virginia via Pennsylvania.
William Anderson, Sr. was the fifth great-grandfather of Felix Budwell Stump, Sr. William had three wives: Mary (Reid) Anderson, Hannah (Christian) Anderson, and Elizabeth (Campbell) Anderson. Sammy is descended from two of William's children with Elizabeth (most of the Skillerns reading this article are descended from one or both of these children). Felix was descended from William and his wife Mary.
Admiral Felix Budwell Stump, Sr. was born December 15, 1894 in Parkersburg, Wood County, West Virginia and he died June 13, 1972 in Bethesda Naval Hospital but not before succeeding on a brilliant career path. He served in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, earning the rank of admiral. He was commander of the United States Pacific Fleet from 1953-1958 and the U.S.S. Stump was named in his honor. You can learn more about Felix here. Photos of Felix and the U.S.S. Stump can be found in the Anderson slideshow below.
Several Andersons in our database served in the Revolutionary War (1775-1783). First, we have Alexander Anderson (1762-1825), who served as a private. He lived in Virginia and also fought in the War of 1812. Next, we have Andrew Anderson (born 1750) who served as a captain. Nicknamed Colonel, he also lived in Virginia and served for many years as a delegate representing Augusta County. George Anderson (1738-1808) was a major in the war. He was born in Virginia but died in South Carolina. A second George Anderson (1758-1814) also served. He spent his life in Virginia. James Anderson (circa 1740 - circa 1815) was a captain in the Revolutionary War who lived in Virginia. We have a James Anderson, Sr. (born 1748) who was also a captain. He was born in Virginia but died in South Carolina.
We have three John Andersons who served in the Revolutionary War. The first was a captain that we don't have birth or death dates for. Second, we have one born around 1747 who died in 1789. Third, we have John Anderson, Sr. (1750-1817), mentioned earlier, who served as colonel and later went on to become a judge in Virginia. Robert Anderson, Sr. (1741-1813), was a lieutenant colonel from Virginia who, like many of his cousins, died in South Carolina. If only we could go back in time and warn all the Virginia Andersons to stay the heck out of South Carolina! Finally, we have William Anderson (born 1750), a Virginian who served as captain in the war. There may be other Andersons who served; we just look at each person as we research their families and have not conducted an exhaustive search particular to the war.
These brave gentlemen were followed by dozens of other Andersons we have documented as serving in the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and their state militias.
Today, we will talk a bit more about Colonel John Anderson, Sr. Below, we have added a photo of the Anderson Townhouse, located in Blountville, Sullivan County, Tennessee. The plaque, erected in 1976, reads: ANDERSON TOWNHOUSE -- The log section of Anderson townhouse was built in 1792/1795. It housed the first town commissioners of Blountville: Richard Gammon (1750-1833), Major George Maxwell (1751-1821 -- actually, he died in 1822), and Colonel John Anderson (1750-1817). All these men served the American Revolution and held important civil offices. John Anderson, who lived and worked at the townhouse when in Blountville on commissioner duties, was the owner of the well-known Blockhouse on the famed Wilderness Road. In addition to the town commissioners, the house has been home to a number of Presbyterian and Methodist ministers as well as Joseph Anderson, one of the founders of modern Bristol.
The kitchen burned about 1811. Successive owners by 1826 added the frame back wing and made general improvements to the interior.
As a part of America's bicentennial celebration the house was purchased in 1974 by the Sullivan County Historical Commission with funds donated by individuals, clubs, and businesses and a grant by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration.
Note: Many of you are related to both Colonel John Anderson, Sr. and Major George Maxwell mentioned in the plaque. John was Sammy's 4th great-grandfather and George was his 4th great-granduncle, for example.
This Skillern family cemetery is one of only two known Skillern cemeteries in the United States. The other is a tiny (and I mean tiny!) one in Bledsoe County, Tennessee. As you can see, the last burial for this cemetery may have been 1924. The cemetery was mostly used by Isaac Skillern and his descendants. It was said to be Lucinda (White) Skillern who designated the two acres to remain cemetery land (out of around 80 acres owned in the area). Around 1902, a wrought-iron fence was erected and it still stands today. The family has done a lot of work over the years to maintain and improve the cemetery land, including building a shelter (Tim Skillern), adding memorial markers and having the land surveyed and recorded, which allowed for the road to be maintained by the county. Triva buffs: What significant American event affected the cemetery? On February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon return to earth's atmosphere, spreading its parts onto the cemetery grounds, among many other places. Crews were sent to process the scene and the entire community was affected for weeks.
The yearly gathering is both exciting and reverent as the extended family gathers to share memories and the latest news. You can find lots of photos at the "All the Latest" tab. Please send us your memories of the Skillern Family cemetery. Here are directions found at FindAGrave.com: "Take Highway 21 east from Nacogdoches for 12-16 miles to CR (County Road) 432 (see map above which shows the initial turn off from the highway as CR 434). There is a sign for LIttle Chapel and Skillern cemeteries on right of highway (see photo below). Turn right and go around 1.5 miles. Just before the CR turns left, you need to turn right. This dirt road will fork and you will take the right fork that looks like a wagon trail. The cemetery is at the end of the road." Click here for a list of the memorials included at FindAGrave.com.
A Most-Fascinating Anderson Legacy
In 2011, William L. Anderson wrote a fascinating book about the Anderson Blockhouse, titled The Blockhouse on the Holston: The Original Gateway to the West. It took three years of research on the house and Colonel John Anderson to compile this information, in association with the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association. Here's what you'll find in the book:
Part I The Origin and Importance of the Blockhouse
Part II The Journals Identifying the Blockhouse of the Route in Kentucky
Part III The Blockhouse as Recounted in the Experiences of Wilderness Road Travelers
Part IV The Blockhouse's Civil and Military Role
This 174-page book is well-sourced and fully indexed and contains dozens of maps and pictures. It is a wonderful resource for any American history buff and a precious keepsake for any Anderson descendant (which most of us American Skillern descendants are). We ordered ours directly from the president of the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association, Robert McConnell. Drop us a note for his contact information. Below, you can view the book's front and back covers.
Thank you for your donation toward ongoing expenses. Please note that donations are not tax-deductible as we have not completed the paperwork for a nonprofit organization. We appreciate your support of the Skillern Family Club.