My husband’s family has ties to North Carolina, although I haven’t done much research on them or in the state. I decided to do some more digging on the Boone family. Although I couldn’t find any records in the few hours I searched, I did manage to locate a few mentions in family trees around the internet that are providing some additional clues I didn’t have previously. But the gem that I found actually comes from my neck of the woods in Illinois: a newspaper article in the Canton Daily Ledger from 1908.
First and foremost, I was ecstatic when I saw that Cornelia BOONE, daughter of Martin Alexander BOONE and Eliza SMITH, named my husband’s second great-grandmother as her sister. Finally, something tying Eliza Anna Matilda BOONE to her parents besides one measly census record (1880) when she was two years old and then poof!, the family is spread out all over the place by 1900 and I never see her with her parents again.
Second, I love that the person who posted it (Jody) also made note of the line in the article that stated that Cornelia was related to THE Daniel Boone. Although I haven’t done a ton of research on this family, what I have found does not put them in the Daniel Boone family. Jody says she has yet to find a connection, so I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that disagrees with the family lore.
But beyond these two things, this article provided a glimpse into Cornelia’s childhood in North Carolina during the Civil War. I’ve included an excerpt here, as it was transcribed at Surname Site by Jody. The next time I’m in Canton, I’ll have to swing by the library and get my own copy. But I do very much appreciate Jody for transcribing and sharing this…I may not have found it for quite some time.
Excerpt from an article in the Canton Daily Ledger, 29 April 1908.
"I was born," said Mrs. Cornelia Simpson, "in Stanley county, N.C., Sept. 13, 1850 and am the daughter of Martin and Eliza Boone, both natives of North Carolina. My father was related to Daniel Boone, the noted pioneer hunter of Kentucky.
"I am the oldest of a family of 11 children, seven of whom, besides myself, are living, namely: Lewis Boone, a resident of North Dakota; Mrs. Malinda Hagena in Colorado; Alex Boone, at Council Bluffs, Iowa; Brady Boone, at Neola, Iowa; Frank Boone, on a farm near Shelby, Iowa; Elmer Boone , in Montana; Mrs. Anna Haacke on a farm in Buckheart township.
"I was about 14 years of age when my parents moved from North Carolina to east Tennessee, where we lived for four or five years, when we came to Illinois.
"We lived in North Carolina during the war. Our house was back in the timber from the road. Father was in the Union army as a scout and guide and I remember when about 30 Confederate soldiers came to the house looking for him. He deserted from the rebel army and joined the Union forces and had they found him they would have shot or hanged him.
"My uncle, who lived near us, slept under his barn floor for six months--in fact, lived there. The rebels often visited his place and searched for him but he got into the Union lines before they caught him.
"My mother and Aunt Nellie Boone farmed our place for three years and I have worked many a day in the fields. Mother and aunt sowed and cradled wheat and helped to thresh it. The women operated and fed the old ground threshers, ran the water mills, etc. The women and old gray-headed men did all the farm work and got along pretty well, everything considered.
"At first we had to give a tenth of everything we raised to the Confederate government, but later a fifth and finally a third.
"One old man who ran a thresher had his three girls with him, and they all worked early and late. The women of the south, especially those whose husbands and sons were in the Union army, had a hard row to hoe. Women whose eyes were as bright and whose forms were as erect as in the days of their girlhood when the war broke out, were bent with care and work and troubled at its close, and their heads were covered over with the snow that never melts. Their last thoughts at night, as they wafted their prayers to the throne of God, asking him to care for their loved ones, and their first thoughts in the morning, were for their husbands and sons. Mothers, wives, sisters and daughters suffered in silence and God alone knows how much they suffered and what trials and dangers they passed through.
"Oh, but I can never forget the old civil war days in the south, notwithstanding I was but a child.
"We lived just five miles from the line between North and South Carolina and I often went on horseback to Bradaway's mill on the river between the two states. Sometimes I took my grist of corn to Meggs' mill, on the same stream.
"There were no buggies in the south in those days and we all rode in wagons.
"There were a good many slaves in Stanley county before the war and many of them did not know their own Master. They were put in charge of an overseer and worked in the fields from early morning until late at night. Their time was given to them from Saturday noon until sunrise Monday morning--and such times as they did have, singing, dancing, playing the banjo and the fiddle!
"The poor people wore cotton or homespun clothing and often went to church barefooted. The women wore calico sunbonnets.
"The poor white people in the south before the war enjoyed life better than did the slaveholders. The agitation of the slavery question and the growing sentiment against human bondage, not only in the north but all over the world, were thorns in the sides of the slave owners.
"A part of the troops raised in Stanley county were drilled in a big field near our house and we often saw large bodies of Confederate soldiers pass and repass. It was their boast that they would soon whip the Yankee, it would only be 'a breakfast spell'--but the conflict proved to be one of the greatest in history and lasted till after dinner--in fact, till nearly supper time. Everything hinged upon the result of that war, but peace came and the nation was saved.
"The happiest days of my life were spent in the old North Carolina and Tennessee homes, but our days during the war were not happy ones. Many times did I lean my arms on the window sill while mother was preparing the evening meal and look far into the dusky shadows that encircled the brow of night; but papa did not come.
"Oh, we were never free from the tortures of anxiety about the absent ones, and we often went to bed with heavy hearts. Why should the slaveholders cause sorrow and death to overspread our fair land, and the voice of waiing go forth from every fireside? The hours were long and dark, but peace came at last--thank God!--and came to stay, so far as the north and south were concerned.
"A few of the old slaveholders and their descendants will never be satisfied with the result. The people of the south--I mean the common people--were in antebellum days more sociable than the people of the north and would often congregate together and have a general good time. As things were then, I would rather live in the south than in the north.
"There were many good people among the slaveholders, and there were some bad ones, too.
"We practically abandoned our old homestead in North Carolina, because we could not sell it, and went to east Tennessee, about the time the war closed. The Union sentiment in east Tennessee was pretty strong and many Union refugees found a home there after Lee's and Johnston's surrender."