~THE “CHILDS” FAMILY HISTORY~
As remembered and recorded
By Douglas Mason Childs
January of the two thousand and sixth
year of our Lord, the two hundred and thirtieth year of the sovereignty and independence
of the United States of America, and the two hundred and fourteenth year of the
Commonwealth of Kentucky.
and genealogy of the “CHILDS” family and name is somewhat sketchy as most
official records have been lost or destroyed. I will attempt to summarize as
best I can with what records do exist but most of what I relay is from the
memories of the stories told to me by my father, mother, aunts and uncles, and
Our family has roots that extend
from Wales and Ireland of the British Empire and the Kingdoms
of Germany and France on the
European Continent, to the Tri-State area of the Midwestern United States that
make up Kentucky, Ohio
Even a trace of Native American from the Cherokee Nation of the Appalachian Mountains is claimed in our lineage. In
addition to the “CHILDS” (Welsh) name, I will include the “CLARK”
(English) name of my paternal genealogy from my Grandmother on my Dad’s side of
the family. This history will also trace my maternal genealogy of the “SUBLETT”
(French) and “BOWEN” (Welsh) names from my Mother’s side of the family, though
information for the Bowen and Clark names is limited.
earliest known reference to the CHILDS name in our family is a man named PAUL
CHILDS. Believed born in the late 1700 or early 1800’s, he is thought to be
from 18th or 19th century Ireland. He married a woman from London, England
by the first name of ELIZABETH.
No records survive giving us her maiden name or what became of them as a couple.
However, 1820 Federal Census Records indicate a Paul Childs living in “Russell County”
autobiography states that our ancestors settled in Virginia
and later migrated to Kentucky.
The oral history says that Paul and Elizabeth Childs were the parents of a boy
and named him JAMES L. CHILDS. Kentucky and Ohio census and death
records indicate he was born on June 21, 1849 and died on September 17, 1937. Owsley County, Kentucky
census records indicate James was married to SARAH ELLEN EVANS (July 14, 1862 –
May 3, 1936) also of Kentucky
around 1874 or 1875. She was the daughter of JOHN S. EVANS (1827- ?) of Tennessee, and, REBECCA ELLEN KID (?) of Kentucky.
The oral history in our family said
that Paul and Elizabeth Childs immigrated to the New World from either England or Ireland. However, census records
indicate that James L. Childs’ mother and father were both from Virginia;
suggesting that they came to Virginia from either Ireland/England or that a gap
exists in the genealogy not accounted for in the oral history. In all
probability, they were “Ulster”
or “Scotch Irish” as the family was always Protestant as far as I and my father
Sarah Childs gave birth to a son WILLIAM H. CHILDS (September 15, 1876 – November
13, 1951) who lived in Owsley County,
Kentucky. Federal Census records
also indicate that William was a Veteran of the Philippine Insurrection (circa
1900). We do know that he married JESSIE BELLE PRICE (April 29, 1885 – January
23, 1953) of Owsley County,
KY in 1902. Their son made reference
to William H. Childs as being a “fat Irishman” in his biography and he refers
to his mother Belle as a “fine English woman” so we assume that the family is
from Ireland primarily but
perhaps the name is from the English of Wales who settled in Ireland. My father had told me our
name was of Welsh origin.
Belle Childs’ son, CLAUDE EVERETT CHILDS was born in Sturgeon, Kentucky (Owsley
County) on December 7,
1902 or 1904 depending on which Census record is accurate, and died March 12,
1953. My grandfather, Claude Everett Childs, was married to BEULAH CLARK
(September 26, 1908 – September 11, 2001) of Vaughns Mill, Kentucky. Claude was known commonly as “Everett” and wrote the
first known autobiography of anyone in the Childs family. From that
autobiography I learned that Everett moved to Hamilton, Ohio
as a young man. His father, William, worked for the Cincinnati-Dayton Traction
Company as a trolley car operator. Everett worked at the Champion Paper Company;
becoming quite adept at operating the large machinery for several years before
moving back to Kentucky on the advice of a buddy who told Everett that he could
do more with his life if he had an education. So, the family moved back to Kentucky and he received a degree in education from Berea College
in 1927. Everett was affiliated with the Masonic
Lodge in Stanton, Kentucky
(Powell County). He taught several years in the Kentucky public school system before opening a small dry
cleaning business in Stanton.
The “Stanton Cleaners” remained in the family for many years before being
bought out after the death of my grandmother Beulah in 2001. Everett
met Beulah during his time at Berea College and they were married in Winchester,
Kentucky (Clark County)
on January 30, 1928.
Clark was the daughter of CHARLES H. CLARK (May 24, 1882 – February 7, 1959)
and CAROLYN WARE (August 18, 1885 – November 9, 1939) both of Powell County, KY.
Charles Clark was a farmer and a Deputy Sheriff in Powell County.
Both the Clark and Ware names can be traced
back another two generations. Charles Clark was the son of GEORGE W. CLARK and
NANCY JANE DOUGLAS. Carolyn Ware was the daughter of WILLIAM WARE and NANNIE
GINTER but, no other information survives to tell their story. We only
speculate they trace back to England.
What I do know is that the Clarks were farmers and very involved in the Powell
County Schools in Kentucky.
My grand parents Everett and Beulah
Childs gave birth to a son who was my Dad, MAURICE CLARK CHILDS (February 16,
1937 – July 17, 2002) born in Stanton, (Powell County)
had an older brother (my uncle) William “Donald” Childs (October 20, 1931 –
August 2, 1983) who, after serving in the US Navy during the Vietnam War, moved
his Wife Velma and their sons Thomas and Christopher to southern California. My
uncle Donald had a daughter named Lisa from a previous marriage also living in California. My Aunt
Velma and Uncle Don have since died and, as of this writing, my cousin Tommy died
single with no children, my cousin Chris has no children, and I have no
information on my cousin Lisa.
Maurice “Maury” Childs grew up,
went to college, worked, and in autumn, September 8, 1964, married my mother
VERA LOIS SUBLETT (April 6, 1939 – present) in Georgetown,
Vera was born in Hayward, KY
near Morehead in Rowan
County. Maury graduated Berea College,
with a degree in Biology. Maury was a Master Mason with the Lodge in Stanton. He pursued
careers as a school teacher, an Executive for the Boy Scouts of America, and a
sales representative for scholastic and yearbook products. He also served his
country as a Sergeant in the United States Army during the Berlin Crisis in the
early and mid 1960’s. Maury was very active in the Kiwanis Club and made
significant contributions of his time, talent, and treasure to other community
and service organizations and the Disciples Christian Church. His passion for
life was best expressed in his involvement with the astronomical community.
Belonging to both the Cincinnati
and Miami Valley Astronomical Societies of Ohio, Maury was recognized
personally and professionally for his contributions to the hobby of Astronomy.
Maury’s personal motto of “Look always to the Sky” reflected his positive and
energetic outlook on life. An attitude he instilled in all he met.
My mother, Vera Lois Sublett, grew
up the oldest of three sisters and had an older brother. She was the daughter
of CLARENCE SUBLETT (June 18, 1915 – December 4, 2000) of Redwine (Morgan County)
Kentucky and THELMA BOWEN (October 14, 1915 –
August 10, 1990), of Haldeman (Rowan County) Kentucky.
As Vera was growing up she moved around quite a bit with relatives. During
World War II her father Clarence moved the family up to East Chicago, Indiana
while he worked in a Defense Plant in the area. Later after the war they moved
back to Kentucky.
When Vera was about eight years old, her father Clarence made one of his many
trips to Indiana
and never returned to the family. We know that Clarence had relatives still in Indiana but, the family
left behind did not stay in touch with them. Vera, her older brother Carlos and
her two sisters, Lavon and Donna were raised between their mother Thelma and
various relatives back and forth, as they grew up.
Before meeting my father, Vera
graduated from Rowan County High School
in Morehead KY, studied dance, and attended college. She
worked at a bank in Lexington, Kentucky
(Fayette County) when she met my father Maury.
The SUBLETT name we have quite a
bit of genealogical information on and I have included a separate history with
this work. ORA RUSSEL SUBLETT (May 25, 1889 – March 14, 1976) and SARAH JANE KEGLEY
(February 3, 1888 – July 3, 1962) were the parents of my grandfather Clarence. My
mother told me that somewhere on her fathers’ side of the family one of her
relatives was a full blooded Cherokee Native American, but we have no records
of any kind or a name to trace that information to. My uncle Carlos traced the
SUBLETT name to the French Huguenots of Sedan in eastern France near the German Border.
My grandmother Thelma Bowen was the
daughter and one of ten children born of WILLARD JACKSON BOWEN (January 6, 1882
– August 27, 1959) and MELINDA MALVINA HAMILTON (December 4, 1886 – May 13
1959). We have the names of the other nine children and their grandchildren on
our family tree. We know little else of the Bowen and Hamilton names except
that we can trace them back two more generations. Willard Bowen was the son of
JACK BOWEN and LINDA THOMPSON. Jack Bowen was the son of CHARLES BOWEN and
SIBBIE MCFERN. Linda Thompson was the daughter of JOHN THOMPSON and a woman
known only as SHULTY. Willard J. Bowen’s wife Melinda M. Hamilton was the
daughter of GEORGE MORGAN HAMILTON and RACHEL HINTON. George M. Hamilton was
the son of PERVIS HAMILTON and NELLIE DIKES. Rachel Hinton was the daughter of
CHARLES HINTON and CLARINDA HORSLEY but, no other information has been found
for all these names.
Maury and Vera Childs gave birth to
me, DOUGLAS MASON CHILDS on May 10, 1965 at Good
in Lexington, KY. My parents told me that I was named
after two close friends of my father in the Scouting program. Shortly after the
birth of my sister MELISSA KAYE CHILDS on January 22, 1967, also in Lexington, we moved to Hamilton, Ohio
when I was two years old. We moved again to neighboring Fairfield, Ohio
just before I completed grade school. I graduated from Fairfield Senior High
School in 1983. Immediately upon graduating I
enlisted into the US Army where I continue to serve after 23 years. My
assignments have taken me to San Francisco and Monterey CA, the Panama
Canal Zone, St. Louis Mo,
New Haven CT, Fort McCoy WI,
Dallas TX, and
currently I serve in Columbus
OH. I took a break in service at
the beginning of 1988 and attended Northern
and worked as a Deputy Sheriff for Hamilton
County in Cincinnati
Ohio and then St.
Charles County in St. Charles Missouri.
At the start of the build up to Desert Storm in late 1990 I re-entered Active
Duty as a Recruiter in St. Louis,
MO. During my time in Dallas, I deployed to Iraq for the first wave of
Operation Iraqi Freedom from March 2003 to March 2004, during which time I was
promoted to the rank of Sergeant Major in the Military Police Corps and earned
the Bronze Star Medal. My promotion to Sergeant Major occurred in a special
impromptu ceremony conducted on Irish soil in Shannon Ireland during a
refueling stop on our way back to the United States
Several members of my unit were of Irish decent including my Commanding
Officer. The flags of both the US
were held up by members of the unit while my new rank was pinned on my collar.
Douglas Mason Childs was married to
LYNN MARGARET KOTHE (born November 27, 1965, in Richmond
Heights, St. Louis
County, MO) at the Webster Groves
Christian Church in Glendale, MO
outside of St. Louis
on September 8th, 1990. Lynn gave
birth to our son, DAVID MICHAEL CHILDS on September 23rd, 1991 on
Scott Air Force Base in Illinois across the
river from St. Louis Missouri. We chose the name David Michael to
carry on my father’s tradition of two close friends, the meaning of the names
and, the tradition of my close friend to keep the initials of the first born
the same. David J. Williams was one of my closest friends growing up and still
is to this day. And Michael D. Sulfridge was another one of my closest friends.
With those two names, we were able to keep the DMC initials, refer to two of my
closest friends and retain the Judeo-Christian heritage with reference to King
David and, St. Michael the Archangel, of the
We had another son that died in
childbirth and we named him Richard Andrew; after my other dear friend Richard
R. Glassmeyer, and the Martyred Apostle Andrew chosen by Lynn. It was shortly after in October of 1993
that Lynn and I divorced and I was later transferred to New Haven Connecticut
in 1994. It was during this period that I went through a period of inquiry into
the Catholic Church. After several years of questioning and study and several
religious retreats, I was received into full communion with the Catholic Church
at St. Mary’s parish in Branford,
Connecticut on the Easter Vigil
Mass of 1995. I picked Jesuit founder St. Ignatius of Loyola as my Patron Saint
name. That summer I was initiated into the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, CT.
I married TAMI LYNN WILLETS (born
July 10, 1965 in Ansonia, CT)
on October 11, 1996 at Holy Rosary Church
in Ansonia, Connecticut. A couple of months later we
moved to Tomah, Wisconsin near Fort McCoy and on December 13th, 1997
gave birth to DOMINIC MATTHEW CHILDS at the Franciscan Skemp Hospital in Tomah,
(Monroe County) WI. As with my son David, I wanted to keep the initials DMC,
and, we wanted the names to have strong Christian meaning so, we chose the
Latin “of the Lord” and the biblical reference to the first Gospel of the New
The Armorial Bearings of
Sergeant Major Douglas Mason Childs, USA
(Designed with the help
of Mr. David Robert Wooten, Ex Dir American College of Heraldry)
Assumed and Registered: American College of Heraldry, 15 March 2007, Reg #3025
Burke’s Peerage & Gentry International Register of
Arms, 22 March 2007, Reg #00098
Pale Azure and Gules, a pale Argent, over all two battle axes in saltire
counterchanged, accompanied in base with a torch Gules. Above the Shield is
placed a helmet with a Mantling Sexter Gules, sinister Azure, both doubled
Argent, and on a Wreath of the three colors, is set for a Crest, a monogram Chi
assumed the arms in reaction to my genealogical research into my family
history. My search discovered a vague and sketchy past with little historical
documentation. My desire is to leave my descendants a better-documented account
of who we are and where we came from. In this light, I explain my achievement
Colors: To reflect my heritage I chose to display the colors
of my country, the United
States of America (Red, White and Blue).
These colors also reflect the countries of my family origin, namely: Ireland, England
Shield: To reflect my vocation I chose crossed Axes or
Halberds. These represent the arms borne by the first Non Commissioned Officers
of our nation and early European armies. They represent the execution of
military duty and protection of our national values. The addition of a Torch
signifies the light of faith, seeking knowledge, and truth. A Torch passed
through the generations of our family. This symbol recognizes the vocation of
teacher, educator, and instructor common in our family.
Crest: My faith in God as a Christian compelled me to add the Greek “Chi-Rho”
(Monogram of Christ) or Constantine’s
“Labarum” (In Hoc Signo Vinces). I put this on the crest to identify the
preeminence of our faith in all that we do and identify our religious heritage.
Motto: “Semper Caelum Intuere” (Look Always to the Sky). I
chose the personal motto of my father (from his hobby of astronomy) to express
the eternal optimism of his spirit. This also recognized that through faith all
things are possible, and our belief in the second coming of Christ.
In Honor of:
Father: Maurice Clark Childs 1937 - 2002
Father: Claude Everett Childs 1904 - 1953
Grand Father: William H. Childs 1876 - 1951
GG Father: James L. Childs 1849 - 1937
GG Father: Paul Childs ?