915 N. Ridge View Dr.     Santa Maria, Ca.  93455-6319


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A Family Newsletter


18th Edition                                                   May 1995




Personal Data Sheet was supplied by Connie Mosley, great granddaughter of George, and is copied as written.


“George Washington Hembree b. 5 September 1870 Rockwood, Roane County, Tennessee and Died 11 September 1955 in Cumberland County, Tennessee. He lived almost all of his adult life in Crab Orchard, Cumberland County, Tennessee. He had nine children by his first wife Anne Belle DeRossett b. May 26, 1887, Whitley County, Kentucky and d. 25 March 1840. They were know by Mother, Christine Hembree Parham as “Ma” and “Pa” Hembree. He married a second time after the death of his first wife. Her name was also Anna Belle and her last name was Monday. I know of no children from this marriage, as both would have been past childbearing at this marriage.

George was a farmer, a lumber dealer and a rural mail carrier to the Hebbertsburg community in Cumberland County, Tennessee. He was a member of the Christian Church at Crab Orchard, Tennessee for over fifty years. His funeral, however, was at the First Baptist Church in Crab Orchard, Tennessee. His grave marker may be seen at the Haley’s Grove Cemetery just outside of Crab Orchard, Tennessee. He was a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge for 50 years. I have a copy of his obituary from the Crossville paper.


The following information was supplied to me by Miss Francis (Jody) Hembree. She is the daughter of Clifford Hembree who is George’s third child. She says that George told her when she was young that he was of Irish and Cherokee Indian Descent. He lived all of his life in East Tennessee, which was populated by Cherokee Indians. I have no proof of this.

She remembers that he loved to sing and even sang in his sleep at times. He also liked to tell comical stories and to play practical Jokes. His daughter Lela sang alto, and his son Clifford sang tenor. His son Clifford’s family would often have singing sessions on their front porch after supper. My Mother, Opal Christine Hembree Parham, remembers that George would often sing at church services when she was a child. My mother’s father was Arthur James, the second child of George and Anne Belle.

George liked to give people knick names. He called his son Clifford by the name “Buckshot” because he was fast afoot. My grandfather, Arthur James, was called “Smokey Joe” because of his love of the pipe and cigar.


George’s daughter Cora obtained possession of the family Bible. Her daughter, Thelma Underwood, of 5408 Longview Drive, Hixson, Tennessee 37343 supplied the information below which was taken from that source.

These are the children of George and his first wife Anne Belle DeRossett Hembree.

1.    Walter L. Hembree b. December 12. 1893. He died as a young adult from epileptic seizures. My mother recalls that he ha them at times during church services. He never married. I don’t have his death date.

2.    Arthur James b. June 16, 1895 at Rockwood, Roane County, Tennessee. He m. Mary Maud Ellis Morris June 20, 1925 at Crab Orchard, Cumberland County, Tennessee. He died of a heart attack at Crossville, Cumberland County, Tennessee on June 26, 1962 when I was fourteen years old.

3.    Virden Clifford b. November 8, 1896 probably at Rockwood also. Clifford went by the name “Clippy”. He m. Myrtle Pina Holloway. He d. December 24, 1983 at Crab Orchard, Cumberland County, Tennessee.

4.    Stella M. I believe the M. stood for Madge but cannot prove this. Stella was b. May 7, 1898. By this time the family may have moved from Rockwood to Crab Orchard, Tennessee. Stella m. Chester Rose. I have no death date.

5.    Doyle L. (I wonder if the L, could be fore Lihue since his paternal grandfather was named Elihue) b. June 13, 1901 perhaps in Crab Orchard, Tennessee. Since Doyle’s father was said to have been a member of the Crab Orchard Church for over fifty years at his death in 1955, I assume he moved to that area around this time frame. Doyle m. Minnie Tabors. I have no death date for Doyle.

6.    Lelah b. March 12, 1903. She married Ralph Lyons and moved to Jamestown, Fentress County, Tennessee where she d. September or October of 1983.

7.    Lois b. January 12, 1905. She died young and was not shown on the April 1, 1910 Cumberland County, Tennessee Census.

8.    Cora b. July 5, 1907. Cora m. Morris Burnett in 1930. She d. August 26, 1990 at Crossville, Cumberland County, Tennessee.

9.    Schuyler (Skyler) b. December 12, 1908. He must have died very young as my mother had never even heard of his name before I received this.”


End of Information supplied by Connie Mosley.


For those who wonder:


Joel H.

Obediah H. ---------- &

Elihu London H. ---------- &

Hannah H.

Geo. W. Hembree ---------- &

Martha Earle H.

Louisa Powell H.


Many thanks Connie. Similar work by others will be greatly appreciated.

We all benefit through sharing of personal knowledge.


TRAVELS:  We just returned from a visit to the Tulip fields in Washington.

The Tulips were beautiful, but the weather was cold and wet. Gave up and came home.




It may be a surprise to some to find the female line here but there is a reason. This newsletter is devoted to the Hembree lineage and as you well know the lineage changes when the female marries. As a research matter it is a whole new world. Most search only their direct line, however since I research all Hembree’s in America, some adjustments are required, as I do not expect to live beyond 125. I only search the female line three generations and rely on others to supply information from their records.

Also, early records generally show only the husbands name, no matter what the activity, and the major source of information about females is family knowledge, both personal and handed down through generations. Even though the subject was not a female, family information such as the above, supplied by Connie is vital to the collection of family knowledge and greatly appreciated.


Matilda Hembree certainly did her part to add to the confusion of the elder Joel Hembree’s in Tennessee as both Joel’s had a Matilda Hembree in their family. Actually, Matilda the wife of Joel Hembree was not a Hembree until her marriage to Joel, but Matilda Hembree the subject of this article was born Matilda Hembree, daughter of Joel Hembree and Hannah Pettit Hembree. Nothing was simple in tracing Matilda as several researchers show her birth as 1779, but she was born in Spartanburg, S.C. in 1794. It seems all I do is state that other researchers are wrong and that certainly is not my intention. However, when I prove something out I feel I should share it, as my purpose is to accurately collect the family history. The most certain proof that Matilda was not born in 1779 is the fact that Roane County, Tennessee Court records show she had a child (Eber White) b. ca. 1811, fathered by Charles White. Had she been born in 1779 she would have been 32 years of age and the County would have had no concern for her as an adult, having a child out of wedlock. Also, the 1840 census of Jackson County, Alabama shows her birth as between 1790 and 1800, and the 1860 Census of Cedar County, Missouri shows she was born in S.C. in 1793.

Matilda the wife of Joel Hembree may have been born in 1779, and the source of the mix up which caused some to think that Joel had two wives.


Matilda is first found in the records of the Friendship Baptist Church, Spartanburg County, S.C. where she was baptized in 1802-03.

On 26 July 1814 in Roane County, Tennessee at age 20 she married Benagah (Often spelled Benjah) Pennington and they were the parents of 6 children, namely: Isaac W., Joel Harrison, Newton, Jordan, Sarah S. and Andrew Jackson Monroe Pennington. In 1840 and 1850 the family is found in Jackson County, Alabama along with her brother Benjamin Franklin Hembree and his family, and her son Joel Harrison Pennington, his wife and 1 son. All three families are on page 60 of the 1840 Census, living in the same neighborhood.

Matilda’s son Joel Harrison Pennington b. 13 May 1815 had married his cousin Hannah Caroline Hembree b. 2 December 1817, the daughter of Benjamin Franklin Hembree and Margaret Peggy Lyles Hembree. Joel Harrison and Hannah Caroline Pennington’s son shown on the census was Jasper N. Pennington b. 7 march 1840, grandson of both the Benjah Pennington’s and the Benjamin Hembree’s.

Sometime about 1850 Matilda and her husband Benjah Pennington moved to Cedar County, Missouri where Benjah died 18 October 1855 and was buried in Stockton, Missouri. Matilda died 20 August 1878 and buried at Stockton, Missouri.


Early researchers show another son of Matilda and Benjah, as John Barton Pennington b. 20 April 1820 who married Sarah Elizabeth Hembree.

However, Death Certificate proves his parents to be J.B. Pennington and Mary Bennett. Those who care may want to change their records accordingly. I cannot furnish a copy of the Certificate as my Death Certificate / Cemetery file was lost in moving to Santa Maria. He died 4 October 1910 and if needed, a copy can be obtained from Fresno, California.



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