Robert B. Burchett, Sr -- my husband and our two children are your cousins. My husband was named for your grandfather, who was the oldest son of Sylvester Caplinger (born 1877 in Cedar Co, MO) and Syerena Perry (we think she was born in Meridian, TX in 1885). (Robert Caplinger had an older sister named Ollie, and Syl and Sy had 13 children altogether.) My husband's father was the youngest son of that family, JD. Robert and his wife (I remember Aunt Ina, myself.) were very special to JD because they used to take him home with them when they were first married and spoil him rotten. This was a real treat to a boy who was used to living in a one-room house with about 13 people in it!
JD died just last week (Oct 26, 2001), and I believe that only Aunt Mollie and Uncle Wilson (JW) survive him. (In all honesty, I cannot remember for sure if Aunt Nellie is still alive in California, but I don't think so.) Most of these Caplingers are buried in Gober, TX, near Bonham. Sylvester and Syerena are buried there, the first graves on the left as you enter the cemetery. Sylvester's parents are buried on a farm not too far from Gober.
I have names of the entire family of Sylvester Caplinger and Syerena Perry. They were married in 1898 in Fannin County, Texas. She was only 13 years old, and was an orphan; family tradition says she was being raised by an aunt and uncle -- possibly his name was JD Butler -- and that she was half Cherokee, but we have no documented proof for that.
Sylvester was the son of William Andrew (one source adds a "Jackson" after that) Caplinger, who was the son of Samuel Caplinger from Caplinger Mills, MO. William's wife was Julia Ford, and they married in Cedar County, MO in 867, if I remember correctly. William was born ca 1825, so I do NOT believe he is the son of Rebecca Maricle, who married our Samuel in 1827. Saying she is the mother of our William and his brother Samuel is a popular bit of misinformation that makes the rounds -- I disagree with it based on their birth dates and Rebecca Maricle's marriage record, which clearly shows 1827. We assume there was a first wife, but have not found her yet.
Samuel started the mill in Caplinger Mills with a John Caplinger. We assume that this was his brother, but we have NO PROOF of that yet. We believe they are sons of John Caplinger and Barbara Reagor, and that they were from Wilson and/or Smith Counties in TN before they came to MO in 1842. Again, we have NO PROOF of this connection. There is at least one other Samuel Capinger in TN at that time, who married a Rebecca CARTER, and he is frequently confused with our Samuel. There are other John Caplingers in TN at that time -- and in KY, too -- so it is very confusing.
The ownership of the mill in Caplinger Mills, MO was in dispute throughout the 1850's -- descendants of John and Samuel fighting over ownership, as best we can tell. We went to Cedar County about 6 years ago to try to get to the packets of depositions for these court cases, but they would not let us have access to them and indicated that they were about to throw them away. WHAT A TRAGEDY if they did -- for the town of Caplinger Mills as well as for us! WE did not have time to try Dade County, which may have info, also.
The mill was burned during the Civil War by Shelby's Raiders in retaliation for a raid some Cedar County residents had made into a neighboring county that stayed pro-South. Cedar County was predominantly pro-Union, but, interestingly enough, our William's military records show that he belonged to Shelby's Raiders, although there is no evidence to indicate whether or not he was with the group that burned the mill. It's a mini-series in the making!
William and Julia moved from Caplinger Mills, MO to the Fannin/Hunt Counties area in north TX in 1880, when Sylvester was about 3 years old. I have the names of his siblings, also, if you would like them!
There are LOTS of Texas Caplingers, and not all of them are from William and Julia. Haven't figured out where the Collin County group came from, but I found some as orphans in McKinney on the 1880 Census. Gotta be related somehow!
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