Barbara Breedlove Rollins' Family Files

The Genealogy Home Page

Sam and Alma Ellen Breedlove with girls, circa 1956. I have the pigtails.

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Why Genealogy?

     Why indeed! I am the most unlikely family historian you can imagine. I once suggested a genealogy-cousin call my sister Carol to ask some questions. Carol was dumbstruck. As I understand it, the conversation went something like this:

    Paula:  "I'm a great granddaughter of Jefferson Davis Breedlove and researching family history. Your sister Barbara suggested I call you. Do you have time to talk?"

    Carol:  "Sure, I have time to talk but who's Jefferson Davis Breedlove?"

    Paula:  "Your grandfather's father, your great grandfather."

    Carol:  "Let me get this straight. You want to talk about family history and BARBARA said for you to call ME?"

    Paula:  "Yes. She said you knew lots more about the live people in the family."

    Carol:  "Oh. Of course, if you want to know about kinfolk that makes perfect sense."

     I am the least likely of all to know who people are -- or at least that was true until that fateful day in January of 1988 when this madness began. I struggle to call by name the people I've worked with for years, and I'm likely faking it when I talk to people who recognize me on the street. Yet I can stand there and name most of the people on my chart in order without much hesitation. So why? Let me see...

  • I'm a puzzle person and this is the ultimate puzzle.

  • I can readily see that I'm the product of my parents, and I can see lots of Grandmom in me, far too little of Grandmother, and some of Pop and Granddaddy. It's easy to see they were who they were because of their parents, all the way back to the boat called the Spotted Cow coming from Holland to New Amsterdam and the moors of 15th century Devonshire in England that spawned my Berryman progenitors. I'm learning about myself.

  • I've met some fascinating people, and some of them are still alive!

  • I'm hopelessly addicted. I've tried stopping, honest I have. Like a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I could tell you when I stopped. But all it took was one query that said somebody knew the answer to one of the most perplexing problems, and I was back into it, bingeing to top all binges.

  • Hey, this stuff is lots easier now that the Internet makes queries and research digital!! Wheee!!!!

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How I Got Started In This Madness

     There's an old joke that says if you want your family history researched, all you have to do is run for office and your opponent will do it for you. That was halfway true for me. It all started when I ran for office. I filed in December, 1987, for the office of Judge of County Court at Law Number 2 in Taylor County, Texas. When on January 3 the smoke cleared and I could see what the situation was, I looked up what I could about my two opponents. One was born in Kalamazoo, the other in Chicago. I wanted to tell the Texas voters I was home-grown, native Texan. At the same time I didn't want to offend those voters connected to the Air Force Base on the west edge of town, most of whom were not Texans by birth. So what's the most diplomatic way to make that point?

     I knew Mother and Daddy were born in Texas, too, and I couldn't remember any of my grandparents talking about living elsewhere. I called, and my parents said their folks were native. And Mother had a genealogy of the Kerley family prepared by a cousin of hers from Oregon.

     That started the whole mess. Vernon Kerley had stated Elizabeth Jane Dunn, wife of John Jackson Kerley, was born in Texas in 1823. Wow! To anyone with Texas history instilled since childhood, that meant Austin Colony. That meant my great great great grandmother was one of the first born to the hardy souls who ventured from the young United States into the Mexican area that became Texas. I quickly prepared campaign literature claiming to be a sixth-generation Texan - on the assumption that her mother at least was in Texas.

     Probably for reasons other than my sixth-generation Texan status, I won the election. I faced another, though, in two years. It would be cleaner, more efficient to be a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and that should be easy with my ancestry.

     Wrong. Elizabeth (Ellen) Dunn Kerley told the census taker in 1850 she was born in North Carolina. There were no Dunns in early Texas history who fit with the line. Certainly she was here when her oldest child was born in June 18, 1848, but there wasn't a scintilla of evidence she was there in February, 1847, the magic date. Eventually I proved that all my living ancestors were in Texas by 1890 and that by 1850 I had ancestors then bearing surnames of Anderson, McFerron, Spence, Lewellen, and Barrett in Texas besides my Kerleys, but none of them could meet the ultimate February 1847 test.

     In desperation, I wrote Mother's cousin in Oregon asking where he found that information. (You may have quite correctly gotten them impression I don't stop and ask for directions until I've wandered at least an hour!) He said he assumed since she was married in Texas she must have been born here! After the world quits shaking from genealogists shuddering, I'll finish the story.

     My Jarman line wasn't in Texas until the 1870 census, but Berryman Jarman and wife Mary Wrenn Jarman were old when they got there. They're my fourth great grandparents, making me a Seventh-generation Texan. Truth in advertising prevailed, and genealogy won't let go of my mind.

     P.S. Elizabeth Dunn and John Jackson Kerley both lived or had relatives in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. I'm guessing they weren't married in Texas anyway!

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Two Apologies.

  1. Of course a genealogy page is always a page in the process of construction. Sadly we'll never had all the answers despsite our best detective efforts. This site even moreso, though, because like I said, I was pulled kicking and screaming back into genealogy lately. My comfort with web pages and my vast store of family history knowledge needed to be put together to temp other people into giving me their pieces of my puzzle. But I started working on this in January, 2001, and as you can see from what's already up, I've got massive files to put up. Some I'm revising in light of the last month's research. (The Internet has changed genealogy unbelievably in the approximately six years since I last seriously looked for clues!) Others are as they were written last revised about 1995. Please be patient and come back if your line is not up, or email me and I'll send you the word processing file I'm working towards putting up.

  2. If you know you're kin to me and are not shown here, there's a reason. Either it's because
    • I don't follow lines down very far when they are not my own line,
      knowing others have that information. I've never put my stuff on Gedcom although I tried, but computers weren't up to the bulk of my knowledge back then.

    • or

    • I know you very, very well and you are closely related on my line. You are of the geneation of computers, and you above all know what they are capable of in terms of finding out things best left not known. I've left you off for your own protection. The last years I've put full data about people here are those people born at least seventy years ago. My geneation I've described in generalities, and yours I've left off. It's for security and peace of mind. No, not yours. My sisters' and cousins' and such. And mine.

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Names Being Researched

Red: Good Stuff Here   Pink: Maybe Some Help   Gray: Please Help ME!
Allaman Allerton Anderson Baldridge Barents Barlow Barrett
Berryman Beverley Boz Breedlove Bull Carrington Catlett
Cobb Coley Cox Deadman DeJongh Dudley Dunn
Dunnagan Edward Fletcher Fullerton Gaebler Haie Harkness
Hargrove Hargus Holt Hodge(s) Ivey Jarman Kerley
Kunst Lane Lewellen Loving McCarley McCullough McFerron
McKendree Meade Meeks Newton Nowlen Parr Pawling
Pells Ray Rhapherd Richards Rollins Roosa Sharpe
Slecht Sparrowe Spence Stagg Sturgeon Taliaferro Tucker
Tyler Underwood Warren Wilkinson Williams Wood(s) Wrenn

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While this is Barbara's own family
it's also the kind of work she'll do for you.