Ellen Steele P. Pool: How Her “FAN Club” and a Little Bird Told Me Who Her Parents Were

I recently wrote about Nancy Malinda (Pool) Napier (1872-1945), daughter of Stephen P. Pool of Christian County, Kentucky. Her experience as a Gold Star Mother provided a window onto events with more general societal implications than is usual in stories about our ancestors. Here, I return to an account with more strictly genealogical research implications. The story of my efforts to locate the birth family of Nancy Malinda’s mother, Ellen, shows how evidence based on the “FAN Club” approach and repetition of an unusual forename brought closure to the search for Ellen’s origins.[1]

Stephen P. Pool was born in Halifax County Virginia about 1819, the son of Seth(5) Pettypool, whose estate was probated in Trigg County Kentucky on September 22, 1835.[2] Seth was one of the pioneer settlers in this part of Kentucky. He and his descendants were, however, only one of a large group of Pettypool men who came west from Virginia to Kentucky in waves of post-Revolutionary migration. Continue reading “Ellen Steele P. Pool: How Her “FAN Club” and a Little Bird Told Me Who Her Parents Were”

My Travails with Charley: How the Brother of Charles W. Poole of 19th Century Georgia Led to Their Pettypool Ancestor

My role as administrator of the Pettypool DNA Project inevitably often directs my energies as a Pettypool family genealogist. Occasionally a descendant carrying the name “Pool” or “Poole” will join the DNA Project with a hunch or even evidence that he has Pettypool heritage but hasn’t been able to trace it to one of the early progenitors from the Colonial or immediate post-Revolutionary era.

As has been documented, William, the sole Pettypool immigrant to America (Virginia in the 17th century), had only one known son, also a William, who in turn left two sons, William (3) and Seth (3), also residents of Virginia.1

These two grandsons of the immigrant left behind large families, each including several sons. Although most of these fourth and fifth generation men began life in Virginia, many eventually migrated in the post-Revolutionary period either west to Kentucky and Tennessee or south to the Carolinas (or some combination of both). Although an exact accounting of the sons of William and Seth of this third generation is not totally resolved, all current descendants should, in theory, be able to trace their ancestry in a straight line back to William (3) or Seth (3). Continue reading “My Travails with Charley: How the Brother of Charles W. Poole of 19th Century Georgia Led to Their Pettypool Ancestor”

Pettypool Y-DNA Project Update 2017

Since our Pettypool Y-DNA Project hasn’t been discussed in a long while, I decided that a review and update of where we stand currently would be in order.  The results so far continue to reveal mutation patterns that show promise for identifying subtle branch-specific genetic markers.

Several members have also joined the Project when genetic tests detected unsuspected Pettypool ancestry.  The details of these findings, interpretive analyses, and another plea for participation can be downloaded here:


If you would like to participate in the Pettypool DNA project, contribute material to the Pettypool One-Name Study or have comments or questions, please contact us through the website http://www.pettypool.com/.

Carolyn Hartsough

June 17, 2017

Nancy Malinda Pool Napier: An Original Gold Star Mother

“No, that’s probably not my Nancy M. Napier!” was my initial thought at an unlikely Ancestry.com “hit” that had popped up on the screen when first I searched her name. The name was the same but why would a 59-year-old Missouri widow be on a passenger list departing from Cherbourg, France for New York City in the middle of the Great Depression?1

Even though I eventually confirmed that the passenger list showed the correct Nancy M. (Pool) Napier, I believed from the outset that her 1932 voyage was unlikely to have been a vacation for pleasure — few people in my Pool family of origin could afford or be tempted by such an extravagance. Nancy Malinda was my grandfather’s first cousin once removed, and her father, Stephen P. Pool of Christian County Kentucky, has proved to be yet another member of this sprawling Kentucky clan whose final fate has been difficult to pin down.

I did know that Stephen and his much younger wife, Ellen Steele, had left Kentucky in the late 19th century, moving westward and settling in Hamilton County, Illinois although leaving behind few traces in their new Illinois home.2 Apparently without their parents, Stephen’s five children, including Nancy Malinda, the eldest, had migrated south from Illinois before 1900 and landed in Pemiscot County, Missouri, not far from where my own mother’s Pool family spent a portion of the early 20th century.

On the surface, Nancy Malinda’s life was not easy. She had married (and presumably been widowed) three times by 1909 when she entered into her fourth and final marriage to Robert Reeves Napier at the age of 37.3 Napier was some 23 years her senior. She had at least one child by each of her four husbands, including Alva Levi Mead, the son of her first husband, Oscar F. Mead. Continue reading “Nancy Malinda Pool Napier: An Original Gold Star Mother”

Mattie Bobo Poole (1900- 1924)

Mattie Bobo Poole was born Saturday 17 March 1900 to Thomas Pitts Poole and Jemmie Elizabeth Alexander. She was the eighth, and final, surviving child born to Thomas and Jemmie.1

The 14 April 1915 edition of the Laurens Advertiser reported on the “successful individual contestants in several departments of the county fair Friday”. Listed in the School Work category was “Booklet- Mattie Bobo Poole Sandy Spring.”2

The 8 November 1916 edition of the Laurens Advertiser reported that they were “sorry to learn that Miss Mattie Bobo Poole is sick with pneumonia”. She had recovered fully by summer, and when the 25 July 1917 edition of the Laurens Advertiser reported the activities of a “Sabbath School Convention” to which the local churches sent delegates, Mattie and her eldest brother Martin were the two delegates from Langston Baptist church. In addition, at the close of the convention, Mattie was selected as the “superintendent of elementary work in the district” for the coming year.3 Continue reading “Mattie Bobo Poole (1900- 1924)”

Colwell Pettypool, son of William(4) and Mary Caldwell of Lunenburg County, Virginia

William(4) and Mary (Caldwell) Pettypool of Lunenburg County, Virginia are known to have produced at least five sons.1   The eldest of the group, Colwell (presumably named for his maternal grandfather), was the only one to have lived out his life in Virginia, likely in part because of his favored status as the first-borne male.  He was to reap the benefits of primogeniture, or the inheritance rights of the oldest male child to the exclusion of any female and male younger siblings.

Edward Caldwell, Mary’s father, had designated both of his grandchildren, “Colwell Petepool and William Petepool,” as recipients of land he had deeded for “life use” to William(4) and Mary in 1748.2  However, when the property was divided as part of a series of transactions on 25 June 1773, Colwell received 320 acres of a 420-acre plot and William Jr. only 100 acres (which Colwell immediately proceeded to buy for 100 pounds.)3
Continue reading “Colwell Pettypool, son of William(4) and Mary Caldwell of Lunenburg County, Virginia”

The Elusive George Pool

The Census of 1790 and 1800 enumerate a George Pool living in Spartanburg county, South Carolina. Using the Census age brackets, he was born before 1774.1 The family in 1800 consisted of one male age under 10 years, one male age 26-44 (presumably George) and four females age less than 10 years, one female age 10-15, and one female 26- 44 (presumably the spouse).

George Pool of Spartanburg does not appear in the Census of 1810 or 1820, at least in Spartanburg or Laurens counties. The next appearance of a George Pool is in the 1830 Census, in Laurens county, South Carolina.2 While it is tempting to connect the two, I do not believe that there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to support a connection. Continue reading “The Elusive George Pool”

Seth Pool, Junior

We first suspect that there were two men named “Seth Pool” in the Laurens county area in the early 1800’s while examining the 1819 Probate papers of Robert Pool.1 In the sales papers are references to sales to “Seth Pool” and a sale to “William Pool for Seth Pool”. This suspicion is confirmed in the 1822 Probate papers of William Petty Pool, when sales are noted to both “Seth Pool” and “Seth Pool Sen’r”.2 Continue reading “Seth Pool, Junior”

Elizabeth R. Poole

As with her brother John Belton Poole,  tradition describes Elizabeth as the daughter of Robert Pool and a granddaughter of Seth Petty Pool (c. 1754- 1837) of Laurens county, South Carolina.  This tradition is recorded in the book- Bessie P. Lamb, Mary-Mack Poole Ezell, A Genealogical History of the Poole, Langston, Mason Families and Kindred Line of Upper South Carolina, 1931- on page 12:

(2) Robert Poole and His Children:  Robert Poole son of (1) Seth Poole, married Elizabeth Davis…. His children were (3) Belton (1816-) and (3) Elizabeth R. (Sept. 17, 1818).

To date, no independent confirmation of this linage has been found.  The children of Seth Petty Pool (d. 1837) were not fully enumerated, and Robert Pool has been found only in scattered citations from 1810 through 1815;  has not been reliably located in any Census; and his probate in 18191 does not list any family members.

Elizabeth was born 9 March, 1817.2  Sometime before 1840, she married William H. Fowler.3

Continue reading “Elizabeth R. Poole”