Updated: I added pictures at the bottom. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well…here you have a thousand words AND pictures, my smart-aleck son!
We are watching a show with an arsonist named Ethan And something just blew up. Looks like this guy was NOT an explosives expert
Yes, a second post today.
The husband of a distant cousin and I have been working on some genealogy today. There’s not a lot else to do on a dreary, rainy day. Except clean house, and I’ll do just about anything to get out of that. So I decided to compile some of our “Guinn men” pictures. Guinn is my mother’s maiden name.
Our earliest Guinn ancestors came from Wales in the late 1500’s. They explored, but returned to Wales. They later settled an island in the Chesapeake Bay off the coast of Virginia, called Gwynn’s Island, in the 1600’s. The name has many different spellings, but we are all descended from the same early settlers.
Robert McPherson Guinn, my great-great-grandfather, was born in Greene County, Tennessee in 1845. He entered the Civil War just before turning 15 years old – he lied about his age. He had to travel into North Carolina to join, probably because around his home in eastern Tennessee, people knew his age. He was captured in the very first battle he was in, and spent the remainder of the war at Camp Morton, a prison camp in Indianapolis. His brother, Alexander, was also in Camp Morton, and he died there shortly before the war was over.
Robert and Alexander fought for the Confederacy. But their brother, Randolph McDonald Guinn, fought for the Union. There was division in families.
In 1873, Robert and his family moved from Tennessee to Alvarado, Johnson County, Texas, just south of Fort Worth. He was the foreman on a ranch owned by a man named A.J. Vick. He moved to Houston in 1889, as foreman of a cattle yard owned by Vick. That yard was in what is now downtown Houston, at the location of the Houston Police Department. In 1899, he moved to Pasadena (that’s “next door” to Deer Park, where we live). He became Postmaster and also opened a Wells Fargo Express office. About that time, he installed the first public telephone in Pasadena, in his Wells Fargo office. In 1906, he opened a Western Union Telegraph office in the same building, and his daughter, Katie, became the telegrapher. She was also the railroad agent for Southern Pacific Railroad.
Robert helped plan the Crown Hill Cemetery in Pasadena, where he and my gg-grandmother, Mary Jane Hogge Guinn, are buried. There has always been a question about the origin of the cemetery name, since there are no hills in Pasadena, unless you count overpasses. Some believed it was named for the Crown Refinery, but the refinery was built many years after the cemetery was named. Some thought it might be because it is on the banks of a bayou, which slopes down and gives the appearance of a hill. But several years ago, I was researching…yes, my genealogy, and discovered another reason. Robert’s brother, Alexander, who died in Camp Morton in Indianapolis, is buried in a cemetery there in Indianapolis. The name….Crown Hill Cemetery. I contacted a historian who has written a book about Pasadena (his family were also earlier Pasadena settlers) and told him that I believe the cemetery is named in honor of Alexander Guinn, being buried in a cemetery of the same name. He agreed that it was most likely the answer. So research pays off.
Robert was hit by a car and killed at age 82, while he and daughter, Maggie, walked to church. For the rest of her life, Aunt Maggie was crippled by that accident. She walked with a limp until she was confined to a wheelchair. I knew both Maggie and Katie.
The third from the left on the top row, is my great-great-grandfather, Robert McPherson Guinn (two of these men have that name so it gets confusing). The one to his right is one of his sons. The others are cousins. All of these Guinn men served in the military in some way.
Top row, left to right: (l.) Robert McPherson Guinn – a cousin, and (2) his brother, William A. Guinn (3.)Robert McPherson Guinn, my great-great-grandfather, and (4) his oldest son, Hyrcanus Pendleton Guinn. He was known as “Uncle Can”.
Bottom row, left to right (these are all distant cousins): (1) James Washington Guinn, born in TN, but became a Texas State Senator, and his sons: (2) Dr. John Napoleon Bonaparte Guinn, (3) James Miles Kimball Guinn, (4) Henry Medonius Tecumseh “Gammon” Guinn, and (4) Leonidas Hannibal Washington “Lee” Guinn.
Yes, I know….they have really strange names. When I was in school, there was a Delaney family at my church. We grew up together, and I dated the older son. The younger son was our church pianist and always played for me when I sang. When we were grown, his grandmother told me she thought we were related somehow, because she was also a Guinn. So I did the research, and found that we are indeed related. She and I were 6th cousins. Her great-grandfather was Leonidas Hannibal Washington Guinn. His grandfather, John Guinn, and my great-great-great-grandfather, James Guinn, were first cousins.
James Washington Guinn was married to Catherine Ann Dobson, who was the first female doctor in Texas. She was poisoned by Indians. But Dr. James Dobson (Focus on the Family) has family roots in Texas, and I believe he is related to Catherine Dobson Guinn. James is buried in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, along with many other famous Texas lawmakers. This is his tombstone:
Are you still awake? Here is Robert McPherson Guinn’s headstone. When the headstone was put in place, the Daughter’s of the Confederacy held a ceremony at the cemetery, and we attended.
Genealogy isn’t just learning who your ancestors were. It is history. Some of my ancestors helped form the state of Tennessee. Some of my ancestors settled large parts of Virginia. Some of my ancestors were U. S. Presidents, like James K. Polk. Two of my ancestors were kings in other countries….Wales and Denmark. One of my relatives was the governor of Texas, James Stephen Hogg. One relative by marriage, was the governor of Tennessee, John Sevier. So when I study them, I study what they did, and what their lives were like.
Many people, when doing genealogy, just copy off the internet sites, stuff that other people have put on there. Those people don’t always do their research, and there is much misinformation out there. I research…I find wills, family Bible information, census information, ship records, land deed records, Indian rolls, and many other things. That way you know for sure who your family was, and where they lived.
That’s how I found that we are McDonald descendants. So many Guinn “researchers” who were just copying the internet mistakes, thought we descended from a line that never made sense to me. So I dug through records. The name McDonald kept coming up over and over as a middle name in my family. I found in early 1700’s Virginia court records, that Patrick Gwin married Jeanette McDonald. They were my 5th great-grandparents.
Now it turns out that the guy that asked Beth out is also a McDonald. I told her she can’t date a cousin. I already did that in high school.
One more picture. This is (seated) Aunt Katie Guinn Weeks and Aunt Maggie Guinn, daughters of Robert McPherson Guinn. The year is 1971 and they are dressed in old clothes for a homecoming of the First United Methodist Church in Pasadena. They and their father were founding members. Standing is my grandmother, Hazel Fulgham Guinn, and great-aunt, Bernice Guinn Sweeney.
Me and Aunt Maggie, Christmas Eve 1974: