BLUEGRASS AND BUCKEYES”

 

~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.


            The history 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 my grandmothers.

           

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 and Indiana. 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.

 

                         

 

            The 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 CountyVirginia. One 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 knew.

 

                                   

 

            James and 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.

 

            William and 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.

 

            Beulah 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) Kentucky. He 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, (Scott County) Kentucky. Vera was born in Hayward, KY near Morehead in Rowan County. Maury graduated Berea College, Berea, KY 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 Samaritan Hospital 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 Kentucky University 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 from Iraq. Several members of my unit were of Irish decent including my Commanding Officer. The flags of both the US and Ireland 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 Bible.

 

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 Testament.


 

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

 

Blazon:  Per 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 Rho Gules.

 

I 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 this way:

 

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 and France.

 

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:

 

My Father:  Maurice Clark Childs 1937 - 2002

Grand Father: Claude Everett Childs 1904 - 1953

Great Grand Father: William H. Childs 1876 - 1951

2nd GG Father: James L. Childs 1849 - 1937

3rd GG Father: Paul Childs ?