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 “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”

English Ancestry of the Pettypool Family of Colonial Virginia

A new publication, English Ancestry of the Pettypool Family of Colonial Virginia, by Carolyn Hartsough is available for download at This 137 page document describes the origins of the Pettypool surname in medieval England, and traces the family from its Essex roots through the departure of William Pettypool for colonial Virginia in the 17th century. An excerpt from the paper follows: Continue reading “English Ancestry of the Pettypool Family of Colonial Virginia”

Death of Sam Pool, Site Contributor

Sam Pool, who contributed the Life and Times of Wade Pool portion of the Pettypool Family in America website, passed away on September 22, 2013.  You may read his obituary at The Houston Chronicle.

Sam’s paper on his ancestor, Wade Pool, is a very well researched and presented biography, and if you have not yet read it, I urge you to do so.

Sam’s contribution to Pettypool family research will be missed.