I have been working on the McGraw/ Jenkins lines lately. Still no progress on the McGraws. But on the Jenkins side I have had some fabulous luck. Cousin Dale posted a message on my site about the father of John Ballad Jenkins, my great great grandfather.  He was born abt  1827 in Georgia and died after 1900, presumably in Rome,caroline matilda rhudy Floyd, Georgia. On 9 July 1856 he married Caroline Matilda Rhudy.  This picture may have been taken around that time, as her hair style looks very much like that period of time. Dale shared this with me, plus a copy of their marriage license. Caroline was born about1839 in Virginia and died after 1880 presumably in Rome, Floyd, Georgia.  She had nine children.

In the1880 census both John Ballad and his son, Charles J. Jenkins, my great grandfather, listed their occupation as carpenters. Thus I am to assume that they had a large inveimagestment in tools. This was the day before power tools and everything was done by hand. This illustration is of tool box from the early 19th century and may be similar to the tools that they owned to ply their trade. The 1880 census also shows that John and Charles had been unemployed for 8 months and the younger son, Joseph, who listed his occupation as a laborer had been unemployed for six months. Of course I assume that they did work on the farm. The economy in Georgia in the 1880s was volatile. So I am not sure if this was normal to be unemployed for that time frame or was an indication of the economy.

Cousin Dale has shared more and I have more to tell, so stayed tuned.



Madness Monday


Today is Madness Monday and I have been pulling my hair over why Joseph E. Cook, my great grandfather, took his family to Oklahoma in 1895 and to return to Texarkana Arkansas by 1900.

When I was visiting my uncle, he mentioned that the furniture in the room I was sleeping in belonged to the Cook Family and had been dismantled and went by train to Oklahoma.


This story was reconfirmed when I read W. H. Arnold’s “The Arnold Family.”  The author, William Hendrick Arnold was Joseph E. Cook’s law partner prior to my great grandfather’s departure to Oklahoma. In addition he was married to Jessie Cook, Joseph’s sister and the person whom my grandmother was named after. Their firm was called Arnold and Cook. On page 77 of the memoir, My Arnold says that the partnership dissolved when Mr. Cook moved to Oklahoma in 1895.  That left me wondering why my great grandfather would leave a successful law practice, that was reported to be the next to the largest in Texarkana, and take his wife and six children to Oklahoma. What confuses the issue even more is that Great Aunt Margaret was born on 26 August, 1895 in Arkansas and Great Uncle Phillip was born on 24 December, 1897 in Arkansas, as confirmed by the 1900 and 1910 censuses.

I looked up what was happening in 1895 in Oklahoma. For one, there was the last Oklahoma land run on May 23, 1895. Did he go out and claim some land then bring his family afterwards?  Did he go to Oklahoma to help in settling land claims? He was primarily known as a criminal attorney so this seems unlikely.  Anyway I am left with a lot of questions about this trip and my curiosity is definitely been aroused. I plan to visit the national Archives in Atlanta next month so maybe I can find some more information there.

Finding “The Arnold Family” did put a little meat on both Joseph and his father John Cook, a prosecuting attorney. Of John he says, “He was a very forceful character and a vigorous and aggressive prosecutor.”

Of Joseph, he says, “Joe Cook was a man of very impressive character and great influence; he was also very aggressive, and had the principal criminal business of this locality until he died.”

Back to work, mk