Quite a number of descendents of Mary Elizabeth (Swagerty) Hoffman have been asked by doctors, for at least the past 60-70 years, if they have any Native American Indian heritage.Unfortunately, too many of the older generations did not share, or pass down, all that they knew, even to other family members, and so what little was known were simply family traditions that some would readily admit & others would continually deny.Just recently, that same question was asked of one of my dearest family members, and they aksed me if I had found any such heritage, on either my own, or my wife's, side of the family.I told them that I found plenty, but none that I could prove.It is easier for me to prove many of our royal lines than it is to prove any of our Native American Indian heritage.
Soon after being asked that question, while I was not intending to try to prove anything, I did search some records that were not available to me before, and I found something that gave me much more confidence that Mary Elizabeth's mother Mary Ellen (Stevens or Stephens) Swagerty was actually a dau of Nancy (Tyner) Stephens, and therefore a sibling of Nancy's other supposed children.That had been my "brick wall" or "missing link",not only because Mary Ellen moved further & further away from the other Stevens - Stephens family members, but also because what little was said about her was so inconsistant, whether from public or private records, that I had serious doubts that her location in the 1840 census was enough to conclude she was a dau of David & Nancy (Tyner) Stevens or Stephens.
Posting the new information I found recently seemed to require a complete overhaul of what I had gathered in the past.Since I had moved in the middle of last winter, and much of what I had was still packed, it took much more time and energy than I had.Not being one to give up easily, I was determined to post as much as I could by Mother's day, or by the anniversary of my mother's birthday, May 18th.While I hurried to finish my follow-up post, I was taking a second round of anti-biotics for chronic bronchitis, soI posted it without taking enough time edit that post.
In my follow-up post I wrote: "Quite a number of families listed in 1860 FC of Clifty PO were listed in Sugar Crk Twp of Benton Co in 1850, or in Barry Co, MO in 1850.There was also a Tilford family that had been listed in Cedar Crk Twp in 1850, but parents were md in Barry Co.Among the families from Sugar Crk [Benton Co AR] 1850 were the Ash family, including Erwin/Irvin Ash who later moved to Stone Co, MO, and md Martha Stephens, dau of Phillip Stephens, brother of Josiah Isaiah Stephens."
Not long after that posting, I received a much appreciated e-mail from a descendent of Phillip Stephens, Shannon Butler Ventuleth, reminding me that the child of Phillip, who was sometimes refered to as Martha, was actually listed as Martin in 1860.When I re-checked my Benton Co, AR census page, I found that notation to I had made earlier, but when I checked my Stone Co, MO census page, I had not made that same correction notation. My note on that page was actually with the Phillip Stevens family listed in 1870 in Cassville PO, Mountain Twp, Barry Co, MO, where I had written Martha 17 AR missing from this census.
Josiah had a dau the same age as Martin, but she was listed in the 1860 FC of Clifty PO, and in the 1870 FC of Galena PO, Pierce Twp, Stone Co, MO, as Ruth.I'm not sure of the original source of the several current references by descencents of this dau listed as Ruth, but she is refered to as "Martha Ruthie" in their records.She was the dau of Josiah & Catherine Stephens who md Erwin or Irvin Ash.It has been stated that Catherine was a Tilford, and that she md Josiah in Barry Co, MO.
I believe the several researchers who say Catherine was a Tilford, and it is quite possible she md Josiah Isaiah Stephens in Barry Co, MO. Although I have not found a record of their marriage in the pre-1850 Barry Co, MO marriages, it could have been recorded in a family record such as a family Bible.
I have found two Tilford marraiges in Barry Co, MO: Maran I Tillford m Sarah Cliber [sp?] Apr. 6, 1845 & James D Tilford m Lurana W Scroggins Apr. 15, 1846.I was referring to the first couple, in my earlier follow-up post quoted above, as listed in Clifty PO in 1860.
It is quite likely that Isaiah [Josiah] and Catherine were listed there also because of her Tilford family connection.Along with other earlier researchers, I had believed there was a connection between Catherine Tilford's family and Bennett Tyner, who was listed in the1850 FC of Benton Co, AR with Josiah and Catherine & their son Bennett Tyner Stephens.
Part of the earlier reasoning was because Josiah & Catherine had a son named Jefferson Tilford, and Bennett Tyner & his wife had a son named John Tilford.Presently, you can use so many internet search engines to filter for the first & middle names of Jefferson Tilford & John Tilford. The results are amazing, but they also lead me to doubt any Tilford connection between Catherine & Bennett Tyner.I now believe the connection between Bennett and Josiah & Catherine is clearly on Josiah's Stephens family side, and the use of Tilford as a middle name was quite common in Benton Co, AR.
JEFFERSON TILFORD: Jefferson Tilford Ford was born Nov. 1, 1818 TN to Richard & Isabella (Logan) Ford, and died May 1, 1882 in Grayson Co, TX.His first wife was Mary "Polly" Ruddick, dau of Wm Ruddick, the original proprietor of Elkhorn Tavern, near Leestown, Pea Ridge PO, Sugar Creek Twp, Benton Co, AR.[Rev. Wm H & Sarah (Wilson) Mahurin, of early Osage Twp, Benton Co, AR, had a son born abt 1842 named Jefferson T, a possible grandson by [son?] Henry W Mahurin named Jefferson abt 1876 and a grandson by Geo. Wash. & Mary Ann (Mahurin) Harris named Jefferson Tilford Harris 1859.]
Jefferson Tilford "Tiff" Freeman was born Apr. 28, 1846 Benton Co, AR to Joseph & Hannah Elva (Simms) Freeman, and died Feb. 14, 1934 in Eastland Co, TX.His mother, said to be a dau of Vinson & Sarah (Tiner) Simms, md 2nd to John Wesley Lee, for which Leestown was named.John & Hannah moved to TX by 1860, as did members of the Ford family. "Tiff" m Cynthia Catherine Ford, dau of Wm C & Matilda (Gentry) Ford, and at least one of Hannah's daus md a Ford.[One of the daus of Garret Sephens md Andrew Jackson Gentry, a bro of Matilda. It is possible that a dau of Garret Stephens also md a Ford, but that will have to wait 'til a later follow-up post.]
Jefferson Tilford "Temp" Stephens was born in Jan 1856/7 at Clifty, AR to Josiah Isaiah & Catherine (Tilford) Stephens.Josiah I is believed to have been a son of David & Nancy (Tyner) Stephens.
JOHN TILFORD: John Tilford Ruddick was born Mar.17, 1856 Garfield, Benton Co, AR to Joseph & Mary L (Reynolds) Ruddick.Joseph was a son of Wm Ruddick, the original proprietor of Elkhorn Tavern.
John Tilford "Tilf" Tiner was born Mar. 1865 Garfield, AR to Bennett & Mary (Mitchell) Tiner.Bennett is believed to be a younger bro of Nancy (Tyner) Stephens.Bennett & Mary had a son Samuel Bennett Tiner who also named one of his sons John Tilford Tiner.
It seems to me that the earliest Jefferson Tilford & John Tilford names were used by those associated with Elkhorn Tavern, and that the later ones were used by those connected, in one way or another, to the Tyner or Tiner & Stephens or Stevens families.
As always, any comments, suggestions, additions or corrections are quite welcome at anytime.