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Ila Chastain's Book
Posted by: Lola (ID *****2090) Date: August 03, 2007 at 07:11:16
  of 65

August 3, 2007.
Recently I had the privilege of reading the book, "Hills of Tennessee to the Missouri Ozarks," compiled By Ila Chastain. The time, the effort, the mental and emotional energy it must have taken to accomplish such a monumental project had to be enormous. I applaud her. I have benefited greatly from her research.

More information has come to light, however, since her book came out. I have come into possession of several documents, from various sources including a genealogy buddy sharing. The National Archives is a gold mine. These papers have shed a lot more light on a lot more things concerning William Latty's family.

There are certain places in Ila's book where she and I agree 100% completely. Those are the places where I want to jump up and down and clap with glee like a little child. There are other places, however, where we have differing information.

On page 2 of the book, she stated, "William and Susan, with two small daughters, traveled to McDonald County Missouri in late 1850 or before February 1851......." Further on the same page, she states, "Folklore tells us William, with his young wife and two toddlers, left Tennessee on that dreaded "Trail of Tears," with a ten wagon caravan......" She cites the source of the information as "folklore." I venture to say that when history is compared to folklore, the folklore usually comes up short. History records for us that the Trail of Tears actually took place more than a decade earlier, in 1838-39. Since William and Susan were born in 1827 and 1828, they were both children themselves at the time. With that being the case, it automatically follows that they couldn't possibly have traveled the Trail of Tears as a married couple with children. Considering the dates, they couldn't have traveled the Trail of Tears at all.

Further down on page 2, she goes on the say, "I have not proven William's parents but I now believe his parents are ______ ______and Nancy Latty Latty." I love that. By her particular arrangement of the names, she is indicating, in essence, that Nancy Latty (the same Nancy Latty about whom Sarah Ann Fuller said, "her maiden name was Latty and she married a Latty, the same Nancy Latty who was Sarah's mother)," was also William Latty's mother. That would mean William and Sarah were brother and sister and I couldn't possibly agree more. I heartily applaud her for that assessment. It is right on!

More deeply into the book and concerning the same subject, on page 315 she writes, "Sarah (Latty) Fuller Tille (Tittle) stated her mother was Nancy Latty (who married a Latty), daughter of John and Martha Frances (Scott) Latty. Once again I found she had a brother, William Latty. You will note in the these records, William was left off. It was done because no proof he was indeed the son of John and Martha (Scott) Latty." Once again, exactly the same as above, I completely agree with her assessment.

William was the son of Pierson and Nancy Latty Latty. He was Sarah's brother; the same Sarah Ann Latty Tittle, who as a civil war widow of William P. Tittle, was married to Jesse Thomas Fuller in William Latty's home in Mill Creek, McDonald County Missouri on January 19, 1868. She was William's sister.

The information below was given to Harold Jefferson Maddox Jr., by William Edward Bullock, on June 20, 1971 at the home of his sister Alice Mae (Bullock) Rotramel, in Delaware County, Okla. between Grove and Jay, Okla. and Southwest City, Mo. William Edward Bullock said his grandfather's name was Jefferson Latty. He said Jefferson had a brother named Bill (William), who had sons, Jim (James), Tobe and John. The above info was obtained from a genealogy website.

I have to insert right here that I don't fault Harold Maddox. He merely believed the information given to him by an older relative. Anyone would be tempted to do the same. I have done the same at times, but it's not a good practice. Solid research is not that easy. Questioning older relatives is vital, but the information shouldn't automatically be taken as factual unless it checks out.

Ila apparently received the same data from Harold Maddox. Unfortunately, on page 4 of her book she writes that "Harold Maddox gave proof that William had a brother named Jefferson." Here, with this statement, she goes squishy. The statement contradicts the good information she gave on page 2 and page 315.

Think about the statement, "William had a brother named Jefferson." It has been widely known in the genealogy world for a long time that Jefferson was the son of John and Martha (Scott) Latty. Official records indicate the same. No one disputes that fact. Even in her book, when she listed John and Martha's children, Ila correctly included Jefferson. He was indeed their son. On the other hand, she rightly left William off that same list, saying on page 315, that there was no proof he was actually their son. Concerning William she said (on page 2), she believed he was the son of ___ ___ and Nancy Latty Latty. The evidence indicates the same. So if Jefferson and William had different parents, and they did, then they could not be brothers.

Ila tells how Harold Maddox visited his great uncle, Edward Bullock, inquiring about his great grandparents, Jefferson and Lucy Latty's family. Harold's great uncle Edward told him that Jefferson had a brother, William Latty, who had three sons John, Tobe and Jim. (I will insert here that in the course of my own research, I have found evidence that indicates Sarah Ann Latty Tittle Fuller's brother, William, had sons named, John, George (who was called "Tobe," a nickname) and James.

In her book, Ila writes that Edward Bullock also told Harold Maddox, in the same conversation, that William's son Jim married Dean Amos, daughter of Jim Amos. Then she says a marriage record subsequently was found verifying that a marriage did, indeed, occur between a James Latty and a Julia Amos. (Whom, I think was probably one and the same woman as the Dean Amos mentioned above). Ila says this marriage proves this James Latty was William's son and I agree completely.

I cannot see a connection, however, between that particular marriage and the question as to whether or not William and Jefferson Latty were brothers. Take the facts one by one. (1) William Edward Bullock said his Grandfather was Jefferson Latty. (2) He said Jefferson had a brother named William. (3) He said William had sons, John, Tobe and James. (4) He said James married Dean Amos, daughter of Jim Amos. The fact that Edward Bullock mentions this marriage, does indeed, connect James the son, to William his father, but it does not connect William to Jefferson as a brother. I don't see how that particular set of circumstances could be enough reason for anyone to say, "Harold Maddox gave proof that William had a brother named Jefferson." It does not compute.

I'm going to go out on a limb and chance a guess right here. It seems to me that, with Ila's contradictory statements in various parts of her book, she evidently wanted to get the truth out and she did, yet at the same time, during the course of her research, she came up against some conflicting information. I think she is a very courteous and gentle person. I also saw that gentleness in another place in her book. I don't believe she wanted to hurt anyone's feelings, so she wrote about the conflicting information too. I may or may not be right, but that is my guess. A researcher has to find a way to be gentle and yet not compromise the truth. In so saying, I am definitely not casting aspersions on Ila Chastain. Overall she did an absolutely monumental job!!!!

I believe William Edward Bullock was well meaning and totally honest, but mistaken. According to all the information available, it appears Jefferson Latty actually didn't have a brother named William. Anyone's memory can be faulty, as I believe William E. Bullock's was at that time. It is a natural human characteristic to want to believe a relative, and that's what Harold Maddox did. None of that is a crime or a sin and I do not fault either of them. I believe they were both honest and sincere.

Sarah Ann Latty Tittle Fuller also gave some information which differs from William Edward Bullock's. According to the available documents and evidence, I believe hers is more accurate. I will try to explain.

When a genealogy researcher is confronted with two different sets of memories from two separate people which deal with the same subject but disagree with one another, the researcher's first foundation stone has to be the assumption that both parties are equally honest. At the same time, however, the researcher also has to recognize that either of the parties can be in error and that both cannot be right. To overcome this obstacle to the best of his ability, the researcher, of course, needs to closely study the information from each individual party, first of all. Then in each of the two separate cases, he needs to determine as much as he can whether or not the info confirms or contradicts other evidence. He needs to determine, as far as possible, who gave the info, what was the info, to whom was it given, how (in what manner) was it given, when was it given, where was it given, why (for what reason) was it given. Some of these criteria may be relevant and some may not, but this is a helpful guide. Then the researcher needs to compare the information from each of the differing parties against various documented facts which bear on the same subject because the truth is in there somewhere. These steps are one way to help determine which person's particular set of memories is more feasible.

Edward Bullock's information was, (a.) told in a private home, (b.) told to a family member, (c.) given by word of mouth, (d.) not given for an official reason, but simply to graciously answer a great nephew's questions, (e.) therefore, not notarized, (f), he spoke of his grandfather's generation; quite a few years back. (g), the information stated was that his grandfather (Jefferson Latty) had a brother named William, who had sons names James Tobe and John, and that James married Dean Amos, daughter of Jim Amos.

On the other hand, Sarah Ann Latty Fuller's information was, (a.) told probably in the office of a Justice of the Peace, (b.) told to a Justice of the Peace, (c.) given for an official reason, (d). put in writing, (e.) was witnessed, signed and notarized, (f.), she spoke of her mother's generation; not terribly many years back, (g), some of the the various conclusions that can rightfully be derived from Sarah's information are these: She had a brother named William. Her mother had a brother named Jefferson. She (Sarah) was the daughter of Pierson and Nancy Latty Latty. Since William was her brother, he was also the son of Pierson and Nancy Latty Latty. Jefferson was the son of John and Martha Scott Latty. In the process of naming her mother's brothers, Sarah named a Jefferson but she did not name a William. She did, however, name a William as her own brother. William and Jefferson were not brothers.

The fact that Sarah listed her parents as Pierson Latty and Nancy Latty confirms her other statement in which she said "My mother was Nancy Latty; her maiden name was Latty and she married a Latty." (In the course of my own research I have only found only one Pierson Latty so far, and he was too young, plus he was married to Mary Rush Higgins. He is not the right man. There has to be another, older Pierson Latty out there in some record somewhere).

Sarah lists her own grandparents on her mother's side as John and Martha Scott Latty. She said she knows nothing of her father's people. (Pierson Latty apparently died before 1850 and she knows nothing of his parents). Sarah named her brothers as William, Fleming, Ellis and James. The 1850 census confirms that info. In 1850 Nancy Latty is listed as head of household (evidently already a widow), with children Ellis, Sarah and James (indicating simply that the older boys, William and Fleming had already left home by that time).

Sarah's son, William Washington Fuller, in his Guion Miller application, listed quite a few things. Among them he named his parents as Jesse Thomas Fuller and Sarah Ann (Latty) Fuller. He named his grandparents on his mother's side as Pierson Latty and Nancy Latty and his grandparents on his father's side as William Fuller and Elizabeth Fuller. He named his mother's grandparents as John and Martha Scott Latty. He did not know is father's grandparents. He named his Latty grandparents, (Pierson and Nancy's) children (his mother and her siblings) as Fleming, William, Ellis, James and Sarah Ann.

At this particular point in time, with what information I have, I don't believe Jefferson Latty and Nancy Latty had a brother named William. I do believe Nancy Latty had a son named William who was, of course, Sarah Ann Latty's brother. This is the information I am using in my files at the present moment. If further data becomes available that would change the dynamics of the situation then I would most willingly change my mind and my records.
If you disagree with me and want to write to me about it, please be kind.
loparkee at hotmail dot com

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