Bob Hembree 11819 Maple st. Whittier, ca. 90601
9th Edition Summer 1991
Having made an attempt to straighten out the Joel’s that located in Tennessee, I will now attempt to set the various Hembree families into the county locations, which they were located between 1797 and 1850. I have attempted to map their location by present day county lines. For example, most records show Drury was in Knox County, however the area where he was located is today Campbell County.
It should be remembered that none of David’s descendents except Susan Hembree Pitts moved to Tennessee during this period. Look to Georgia to find them prior to 1850, and then there was some northern movement from that lineage. One of the reasons it is important to research Tennessee thoroughly is because nearly everyone except David’s lineage moved through Tennessee, but the period just prior to and during the Civil War caused a great dispersion of the family lines. It didn’t matter too much what your position concerning the war was. Tennessee was just not a very safe place to be. Neighbors were against neighbors; brothers against brothers, etc. so look for movement during this period and it did not all go north as a lot of people seem to think. Many moved from Tennessee to Alabama & Georgia while others went west to Arkansas and Texas, although most of those who went west, first went north to Missouri, Illinois or Ohio, as it was necessary to cross the Mississippi River before going west. Most maps do not show it because they were still Indian lands, but in 1815 Roane County extended south to the southern Tennessee line, even though those lands were not purchased from the Indians until 1819. One very old map I saw shows a Fort Hembree located almost to the southern Tennessee border in Roane County and one near the northern border of Roane County in what is now Morgan County, thus my reason for trying to place the family where they actually were even though the County name may be different today. In several cases the family returned to Tennessee after things settled down and it was safe to return. I know of three Hembree’s from Tennessee who were killed by bushwhackers and two more who swore in Ohio that they escaped for their own safety and lost the family Bible during the escape. This also reminds me that several of you have written with concern that someone was a deserter in the Civil War. There probably were real deserters as well as real heroes in the family, but I would like to advise you that those marked as deserters were not necessarily so. Anyone who missed muster was marked a deserter. The fact that he was somewhere else on duty, taken prisoner, hospitalized, etc. made no difference when the company took muster you were there or marked a deserter and anyone who studies the military and pension files quickly realizes that today we place a different meaning on the word deserter. In fact, the Armed Forces also faced this fact and now show people who miss muster as AWOL (absence without leave) for a 30-day period. I make this point because people think the party was a deserter, and fail to search for pension files. The pension file usually contains far more genealogy than the military file.
One other thing that is important is researching in Tennessee is the 18 mile area of disputed border between Kentucky and Tennessee. I am still not sure if the group in Scott County, Tennessee was in Kentucky or Tennessee and some records may be in the state other than where we are looking. Of course, a portion of Tennessee was once part of Virginia but to my knowledge we have no family lines in that area. Those interested in the Kentucky group may wish to contact Barbara Blankenship who has done a lot of research on this group.
I have included the descendents of Meshack and Ezekial herein and will attempt in future issues to set up the family by Counties in Tennessee. Hopefully knowing the location of the family units will assist in placing the right person in the right family line.
HOW TO HOLD A SUCCESSFUL REUNION – Just get Grant and Phyllis Hembree to arrange it. Welcome banners – Guest Book, Registration Table with family records – State Placards – Generator – Lights – Refrigeration Trailer – Barbecue & Cook Wagon – Table Clothes and Colored Balloons for State Colors – Hats, T-shirts - even firewood for the fire pits. All this with just enough group assembly to conduct a minimum of business, enjoy entertainment, and enough free time to get to know each other. With the entire campground reserved, you knew everyone there was at least a distant relative. A very special thanks to Grant & Phyllis, son Rourke & wife Kimberly, daughter Penny and husband Phillip Benning. They also served as cooks and not only were they dressed in matching aprons made just for the reunion, but imagine Hot Garlic bread for 110 people. The food alone was worth the trip. They really know how to do things right. (Just what you expect of a Hembree family). From Missouri, Kansas, Washington, Oregon and California, they all said the same thing. “Great Food – Great Fun – Great Reunion – Let’s have another get together”. Phyllis Hembree agreed to serve as chairman of a committee to form a national family association and arrange the next reunion. Probably in 1993. Anyone desiring or willing to serve on the committee should contact Phyllis (P.O. Box 643, Twain Harte, California 95383 Ph. (209) 586-4088, and volunteer. Representatives from all lines of the family and all areas of the nation are needed to make a successful organization.
The reunion was truly a great start for a family association, but as great as it was, it was the work of only one family that made it happen. Imagine what the next one can be if we get many minds working on it. Call today and get involved.
Video pictures of the reunion are available for those interested. I have not seen the video but am told it was made by combining the best of those taking video pictures that weekend. Because of the cost, copies will not be made except by prepaid order. Copies should be ordered from Phyllis Hembree prior to 1 Nov. 1991. Cost is $30.00 plus shipping.
MEMORIAL: A memorial Stone was set and service held for Joel Bird Hembree, Jr. at the annual gathering of the Hembree Cedar Gap Cemetery Assoc., Inc., Stockton, Missouri 26 May 1991. Those willing to contribute toward costs should forward same to Mrs. V. (Vee) Troxel, Rt. 2, Box 258, Gore, Oklahoma 74435. Any excess funds will be donated to the Cedar Gap Association for their use in other worthy causes. For general information, Joel Jr. was buried in a very small cemetery not many miles from Stockton, and the headstone consisted of his name chiseled on a rock. That cemetery is without maintenance and mostly overtaken by pastureland. Thanks to Lawrence Hembree and the Cedar Gap Assoc. for their efforts in creating a permanent memory to Joel Jr.
HELP: Two items needed. First: Anyone having access to the Kansas Death Records or a copy of the Death Certificate of Walter H. Hembree, b. 3 June 1891; d. Aug. 1977, please forward a copy of same. He was a son of Joel Monroe Hembree and his mother believed to be Debbie Clevenger Hembree. Social Security death records show Walter died in Kansas but do not give the county. Second: Anyone doing research in a library that possesses the book “Relatives Along The Rappahannock” please copy the pages relating to Embrey family, and advise.
THANKS to those who expressed concern over not receiving the newsletter, and my apology for not having advised this issue would be late. My wife and I left 15 June and returned home 15 September thus not much production around here this summer. We spent the time on the Oregon coast enjoying the cool summer breezes, fishing and relaxing. Accordingly, if I have not answered your letters, I will try to so in the near future as I greatly enjoy hearing from you and appreciate your help.
PICTURES: It was suggested that I ask you to send old pictures of someone in your family, about 1900 or before, which I will try to print in future editions of the newsletter to compare with features of those living today. You send them, I’ll try to print them, but old pictures do not always copy well. Be sure you tell me who they are. Best to tape a note on the reverse of the picture. Since this edition covers the group in Scott County which I call Meshack / Ezekial lineage, the picture is from that line, and includes 4 generations.
Thanks to Celia H. Terry.
Anyone knowing the exact location of Obediah Hembree family in Morgan County, Tennessee please advise. This would be appreciated for all the Tennessee counties if you know what part of the county a family was in. I know where Joel and Isaac in Roane County were, likewise for Meshack / Ezekial group at Hembree, Tennessee in Scott County, but still working on the others. Knowing the location within a county could save me a lot of time plotting land records, and would be a big help. For example, a Mary Hembree who married in say the Nashville area is most likely a child of the Hembree nearest there, and a good starting point for me to locate records. More next time. Happy Thanksgiving.
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