Spiritual “traveling”……..

I figured out what Thomas Donaldson meant when he said “Come people attend whilst I do relate my travel from sin to my (illegible 2 words).” I think he was making a confession to God to renounce his sins. I found similar confessions in the Turkey Creek Baptist Church records of different slaves who “relate his/her travels after the necessary examinations.” I read a book by Sue Monk Kidd called “The Mermaid Chair” that touches upon spiritual “traveling” by Gullah people in the woods of the low country in colonial- Civil War times.

My question is this? How did Thomas learn about “traveling from sin”? The only references I can find on “traveling” has to do with Gullah people or slaves. Did white people use the term “traveling” in regards to sin? I know Thomas did not own slaves according to census records or his estate record. Did he work along side of slaves as a farmer and pick up their spiritual beliefs? Did he travel to Charleston for supplies and pick up the spiritual beliefs of the Gullah people? I have yet to find a clear cut answer to what spiritual “traveling” is and how it was used in the 1800’s among certain groups of people. The internet has not given me any clues.

If anyone knows what spiritual “traveling” is or the history behind the term, please drop a comment below. I would love to get to bottom of this mystery and know Thomas better.

Until next time…..

Cornelius Cook Senior’s Heirs

Someone on the “South Carolina Genealogy” Facebook group recommended that I look on the Family Search Catalog for “Edmond Ware vs the Donaldson Children:Division of Mary Donaldson’s Estate” record. I failed to find to find that particular record in the Abbeville Court Records. I decided to hop on over to the Laurens County Records on the Family Search Catalog and I found the following petition of Malinda Cook in the Laurens County Real Estate 1828-1868, Page 80-82.

Malinda Cook was the wife of Cornelius Cook Jr. Cornelius Cook Junior. was the youngest son of Cornelius Cook Senior and Nancy Kinman Cook. Cornelius Cook Junior died in October 1838, the same month as his father. Cornelius Cook Junior and his wife, Malinda, had a daughter named Lucinda. Lucinda was a minor at the time of her father’s death.

Malinda Cook’s petition to the Court of Ordinary was that the 40 acres of her husband’s land be sold or divided to pay debts. Melinda Cook also petitioned for a part of Cornelius Cook Senior’s 200 acres on behalf of her daughter, Lucinda Cook. Cornelius Cook Senior died intestate and the land had to be divided among his heirs, John C Williamson and Rachel his wife, Elias Howell and Mary his wife, William Cook and Thomas K. Cook and Cornelius Cook Junior. Since Cornelius Cook Junior was deceased, Malinda Cook petitioned the court that their daughter, Lucinda, get a distributive share of the land and that the land be sold.

The heirs of Cornelius Cook Senior were summoned to appear at the Court of the Ordinary at the Laurens Court House on May 10, 1839. The heirs were listed as John C Williamson and Rachel his wife, Elias Howell and Mary his wife, James Bolton and Nancy his wife, Henry Gaines and Isabella his wife, William Cook, Thomas K. Cook, John Cook and James Cook and the legal representive for Cornelius Cook Junior, deceased.

William Cook, James C. Williamson and James Bolton all consented for Cornelius Cook’s land to be sold. Regular notice was given to the heirs who lived out of state.

This Court of Ordinary record was very helpful to me in many ways. First, it revealed that Cornelius Cook Junior had a daughter named Lucinda because there were no children named in his estate record. Second, the fact that 2 of his daughters were married into the Williamson and Gaines families show the alliance between the Cook- Williamson- Gaines families. Many other records in Laurens show the relationships between those 3 families.

Until next time….


I was looking at the index of records of the War of 1812 on Fold3 a few weeks back and I found a index record for Thomas Donaldson Jr (1787- ?). The index record was his Bounty Land application located at the National Archives in Washington, DC.

I went to the National Archives website, printed off the query form and mailed it along with $30 to Washington, DC on June 1. The website said it would take up to 90 days for processing (maybe longer due to Covid 19 precautions). Another person on a genealogy site said it took her 6 weeks to get something from the National Archives. I asked for the record to be emailed to me because it would be faster.

I am now in week 6 of waiting for this document. I am hoping it has some useful information as to what happened to Thomas Donaldson Jr after he left Laurens County in 1830 according to census records. Did he go to Georgia with his brothers and sisters?

I have also been researching a Rueban Cook who was on a land deed in 1784 in Guilford County, North Carolina selling 197 acres to Isham Rice. There is a theory that Mary Cook Donaldson’s father was named Rueban Cook because she named her first son with Thomas Donaldson, Rueban.  I have to be careful in my research because there are 2 other Rueban Cook’s that come up while I am researching. One Rueban Cook was born in Hanover County, Virginia in 1740 and died in 1820 in Elbert County, Georgia. The other Rueban Cook was born in Pitt County, NC in 1860 and died in 1857 in Lafayette, Mississippi. It would be nice if I could find and estate record for the Rueban Cook in Guilford County.

The search continues.

I can add transcriber to my resume…

Armistead Oakley vs Cornelius Cook Deed 8th of March 1805

Congratulations to me! I transcribed 2 lands, both from Armistead Oakley to Cornelius Cook in 1804 and 1805. It was a challenge because the old handwriting was really hard to read. I had to contact my friend in the Laurens County Register of Deeds office to ask her about a few words.

It is good to transcribe deeds and other land documents word for word for several reasons. First, some deeds list waterways like the Saluda River, Reedy River, etc. Secondly, land deeds lists districts or counties and states where land is located. Thirdly, land deeds list neighbors that land bounds on. By looking at the land deeds from Armistead Oakley to Cornelius Cook, I was able to mentally move Cornelius to another location close to where I thought he lived within Laurens District.

If you have old documents that you help transcribing, please email me and I will transcribe document  for you. I am only transcribing land deeds for the time being. I charge $20 for each transcription.

Have a great day! Happy ancestor hunting!

Quarantine Day 34…..

Today is day 34 of quarantine. I am starting to appreciate this strange experience. I am learning a lot about myself and my family. My creativity in quarantine has definitely been activated and I have been writing more. I wonder if, once this is all over, will I miss this time?

Dennis bought a fire pit today. We roasted marshmallows and made S’Mores. We prayed and sang sanctuary at Wiley’s request. Wiley and Amelia are sleeping in a tent in the backyard. Life is good and I am at peace for the moment.

We are supposed to be going to Sarasota for family vacation in June. We are staying at a VRBO on Siesta Key. The  VRBO is on the beach and it has a pool. I am hoping we still get to go. I have been taking inventory of things  I need to buy for vacation. I bought a cooler and a Lilly Pulitzer beach bag. The beach bag says “Kiawah” on it which stands for Kiawah Island, SC. I have always wanted to go Kiawah Island. Maybe one day I will.

Genealogy research has been frustrating as usual. I am researching Benjamin Sweet Miller’s family. I found a Ancestry tree (first mistake) that states that William H Miller (Benjamin’s father) was born in Allegany County, Pennsylvania in 1757. The tree also states that Rachel Sweet (Benjamin’s mother) was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania in 1761. This information is wrong because Allegany County and Fayette County didn’t become counties until 1786 and 1783 respectively. William and Rachel were probably born in the prior county of Cumberland. This is why you have to take the family trees on Ancestry with a grain of salt and always find proof to back up your theories.

That is all for now.  Until next time.

Quarantine Day 25…

* I am going to write every 2- 3 days now in order to have longer posts.”

I made a few exciting discoveries yesterday on the Fold 3 military record website. I started looking at the War of 1812 records. I found Thomas Donelson (Donaldson) Jr, James Donelson (Donaldson), Benjamin S. Miller and William Rutledge (cousin of Elizabeth Rutledge who married Rueban Donaldson) as privates in Rueban Nash’s SC Regiment. I also found a William Cook and John Cook, who may be the sons of Cornelius Cook, in Rueban Nash’s SC Regiment. This shows the ties between the Donaldson, Miller, Rutledge and possibly Cook, families.

The only person I can find a 1812 pension for is Benjamin S Miller, made by his wife Mary (Polly) Ann Donaldson Miller, in 1860 after his death. I discovered that the “S” middle initial in Benjamin S. Miller’s name isn’t for Samuel. The “S”middle initial is for “Sweet”.  Benjamin S. Miller’s full name is Benjamin Sweet Miller. (Benjamin S. Miller, War of 1812 application, Fold3.)

This newfound discovery opens up a new door for research because the name “Sweet” is more than likely Benjamin’s mother’s maiden name. I haven’t been able to find much information on Benjamin S. Miller background in the past. Maybe this new information will help me. I am also wondering if Benjamin S. Miller is connected to the Cooks in some way because he comes around after the death of Mary Cook Donaldson in 1813. Benjamin S Miller married Mary (Polly) Ann Donaldson on 3 September 1815.

Until next time and happy ancestor hunting!


Quarantine Day 23….

I can’t believe I have been stuck in my house for 23 days except for a trip to the grocery store, Topper’s Pizza (twice) and Sonic. I am counting down the days until Amelia and Wiley can hopefully go back to school on April 30. I am going a little crazy but I have to be patient until Coronavirus goes away.  I miss the beach so I ordered some beach bracelets from Pure Vida website. I hope I like them.

I stumbled upon a Facebook group called “Descendants of the Battle of Kings Mountain” today. I inquired about a application because I think Thomas Donaldson may have fought at Kings Mountain. I have a handwritten letter from my great- grandmother saying he did and I might have military proof. If I get accepted to the group, I get a certificate  and a nifty lapel pin….Oooh ahhh!

I love going to Kings Mountain Natl Battlefield. It is one of my happy places. I can climb to the top of the mountain to the see the monument because of my Cerebral Palsy. I do try to hike part of the trail to the monument. They also have this interesting History Channel movie about the battle that I enjoy watching. I feel a spiritual connection to Kings Mountain so maybe Thomas Donaldson did fight at the battle.



Quarantine Day 22…..

Today was a great day.  It was warm and sunny outside. I took Ladybug for a walk.

I researched Thomas Donaldson’s military record in Rutherford County, NC a little. I will have to dive into Fold 3 for for more military information when I get the chance.

I received the 1786 deed between from Thomas Donaldson to John Harris in the mail today from the Rutherford County, NC, Register of Deeds. The deed says “Thomas Donnelson of Abel County &County of South Carolina..”. It is pretty safe to say that “Abel” is Abbeville. This deed is proof that Thomas Donaldson, my 4th great grandfather, owned land from 1782-1786 in Rutherford County, NC.

I am curious about the spelling of  “Donnelson” because military records and estate records state the spelling as “Donaldson”. I am not sure if the deed recorder spelled it phonetically or if Thomas Donaldson changed the spelling when he moved to Abbeville, South Carolina, in 1786. That is something else I have to look into.



I will probably have to transcribe this deed because it is difficult to read. Pardon the destination magnets. I had to flatten it out to get a good picture of it.

That is all I have for today. Until tomorrow!

Quarantine Day 20…..

Today was a good day. I had the urge to sweep the living room floor which is weird for me. I also swept the foyer. I swept up enough cat hair and dog hair to make a fashionable sweater.

A sweet lady donated a meal from ZBakery to my family and I since Dennis’s hours and pay were cut. One of the owners of ZBakery brought the food by along with a Wal Mart gift card. I was really encouraged by the generosity of strangers during these strange times.

I spent the day researching Thomas Donaldson in Rutherford Co, NC. I have some questions about things so I have to dig a little deeper. Some of the families, the Camps and Harrises, that lived in the area he did eventually moved to the Laurens County area (next to Abbeville). That is interesting to me. Looks like next week will be a busy week of research.


Quarantine Day 19….

Today was a good day. I took Ladybug for a walk down the street. She doesn’t like to walk far. My crazy cat, Cola, found the brown snake he had yesterday. We brought him in the house to save the snake and he was mad.

I did some research on Thomas Donaldson in Rutherford Co, NC. I found out that soldiers in the Revolutionary War could move between unit. In this case, Thomas enlisted in the 5th South Carolina Regiment on April 2, 1776 and then enlisted in the Tryon County Militia in October, 1777 for 30 days. Most tours lasted 60 to 90 days. I am not sure if he saw much fighting because 4 of his children were born during the Revolutionary War.

I also found a John Cook and James Cook in the Rutherford County Militia so I  will have see if they tie into my Cook ancestral line.