Hooked on My Family History: Rebecca Musteen Johnson

I can tell you exactly when I became entranced with my family history.

One month before my 12th birthday, I was resting fretfully at St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa, OK after surgery to remove my right kidney (due to a birth defect, which had been undetected earlier). The actual procedure was far more fearful to Mother than me…I was greatly relieved to be done with weeks of irritating and painful tests.

My main problem was entertainment. I’d read ALL the classic Nancy Drew mysteries on the top shelf of our Candy Striper’s gray rolling trolley, and Mother had gone back to Northwest Arkansas to tend my three younger siblings.

Grandma Musteen Came and Shared My Family History

Dad’s 76-year-old Mama* arrived to sit with me and told me stories we had never enjoyed the solitude to share. While I dined on broth, weak tea and any flavor of Jell-O that my heart desired, she shared tales that were far more flavorful.

Jennie Brown Musteen

Jennie Brown Musteen with the 6th of her 12 grandchildren…me.

Her grandfather was a solid Ozark farmer with eight children. For his main livelihood, he tanned hides in an earthen pit, filled with tanning chemicals. Northwest Arkansas was just slightly south of the Mason-Dixon Line, so his pit was covered with branches and leaves to conceal it from armed bands of post-Civil War raiders from both sides.  

Food was precious. One story told of his youngest, Mary, crying for the warm bread her mother had just taken from the oven…after “Bushwhackers” rode into the yard and rudely stole it away.

Butterfield Overland Trail

Butterfield Overland Trail

To supplement his family income before the Civil War, John drove a Butterfield Stage from a point in MO to Fort Smith, AR on a regular route. Great-Great-Grandpa’s route went right through that upper corner of AR, which you can see in the official trail map. Grandma specifically mentioned that he stopped at the Elkhorn Tavern. I’ve searched the Butterfield records and found that it was an unofficial, but popular stop.  

Prior to the Civil War, the house was used for many purposes, although it was well-known locally as a stop for the Overland Stage. Although the Butterfield Stage passed by on the Telegraph Road, the Elkhorn Tavern was not an official stop on the Butterfield line. During this period, the Tavern was described as a place “of abundant good cheer”.

Wait! While Grandma was describing the tavern, I knew something about it. In my 5th-grade class, the silver-haired granddaughter of the tavern’s Civil War-era managers came to share her mother’s unforgettable, youthful memories from The Battle of Pea Ridge. The tavern was occupied as the field hospital by Army surgeons, who worked tirelessly to remove shattered limbs and save as many lives as possible.

Now, my region’s history, my country’s history, was also my family history! (Dad’s mamma was born in 1887 and would have been close in age to the kind woman who shared her mother’s Civil War memories with our class.)

It was Cox, who later renamed it Elkhorn Tavern. Under Cox’ management, the structure served as a trading post, an unofficial Butterfield Overland Mail stop, post office, voting place, eating establishment, church of the Benton County Baptist Society and inn. As the war moved near, Jesse Cox left the tavern to the care of his son and daughter-in-law Joseph and Lucinda Pratt Cox and went to Kansas.


The last time I visited Pea Ridge National Military Park, a stretch of bare-earth ruts from Telegraph Road were still visible near the tavern. I stood and thought of my great-great-grandfather driving his coach and team over those ruts.

By a quirk of fate, my only granddaughter now attends Butterfield Trail Elementary School in Fayetteville, AR. Even stranger, the first successful Butterfield stage run was finished on her birth date of September 19—148 years and six family generations before she was born.

The first Butterfield stage entered Forth Smith on Sunday, September 19, 1858, at 2:00 a.m. Its route took it over Fort Smith’s old Washington Street, which today is 2nd Street. Even at that hour, its arrival was greeted with music, cheering, and cannon fire, which continued until the coach left for California.

While it thrills me to know something of my family history, I wish I knew so much more! The last Musteen in my dad’s direct siblings is gone now. My cousins and I never sat down with her and captured her rich trove of memories. We intended to do it “next visit,” “when we get the chance.”

Time didn’t wait for us. If you’re interested in your family history, please grab any opportunity NOW to capture family stories…those treasured memories can live forever.

I’m very fortunate to have history for several generations on three of my grandparents. The main focus of this blog is my dad’s Mustain lineage. I begin with this history because our ancestor, Thomas Mustain, built a home that has stood for more than 250 years. I love that tangible reminder of my heritage. I have no idea why Thomas received a royal land grant, so that’s a subject for future research.

Any blood descendent of Thomas is eligible to join Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Click here for details about Thomas donating a firearm, and you can also find more information on all requirements at www.dar.org.

Avery and Jesse were both enlisted in the Revolutionary War, so their service records can be used, too.

According to Delores M. Mustaine’s book, The descendents of Thomas Mustain of Pittsylvania County, Virginia; Thomas’ daughter Molley’s father-in-law, Littleberry Patterson, was also a veteran of the Revolutionary War. So far, I’ve found this reference. The online photo archive of Delores’ book has page numbers in the upper right corner…details about Molley and the Patterson family begin in the middle of page 5.

Dad’s grandfather, Nathaniel Baxter Mustain, fought in the Civil War, waited for wages that didn’t come and endured a Union prison camp…more about that in a later post.

Please comment and share this blog with your family members. The details of our family histories are too precious to lose!

*Jennie Lee Brown married Nathaniel Baxter Musteen when she was 23. Only the oldest of Nate’s four surviving children, Walter, raised his own family. More about this in a later post. Four of Jennie and Nate’s seven children gave Jennie 12 grandchildren. Nate died in 1946, so we grandchildren have photos and a few minutes of video made by my Uncle Hubert in the handful of years before Grandpa’s death.  

Hubert: Martha Jane and Sarah Lee Musteen
Mary: Lisle Gene, Bennie Joe and Gail Lou Stevenson
Jack: Debbie, David and Margie Musteen
Joe: Rebecca Gail, Jennie Lynn, Michael Wayne and Barry Twan Musteen

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Hubert Lee Musteen, Born Nov 1 1913

Hubert Lee Musteen

Hubert Lee Musteen in Uniform_ WWII

Hubert shared the middle name of Lee with his mother, Jennie Lee Brown Musteen. He worked as a teenager behind a drugstore soda fountain in Rogers, AR. Friends teased him by calling him “Susie-Q.” Years later, he was still fondly called “Susie” by some.

We know Hubert was a photographer in WWII, but his daughters and we first cousins have no details about his training or assignments. I wonder if he made newsreels or training films, since we found a photo of him with a movie camera. The last time I watched the famous documentary of WWII, True Glory, I wondered if he was in the midst of battle while filming. For anyone who hasn’t seen the awe-inspiring 80-minute film, it’s free on YouTube at this link.

He was almost 16 years older than the youngest brothers (twins, Dad and Uncle Jack). He died three months before my 6th birthday, and I remember pleading to go with Mother and Dad to his memorial service. I have only happy and loving memories of him.

One of my favorite pictures is a glossy 8″ x 10″ of Cary Grant taking Hubert’s photo! Must have been a USO tour…

Hubert Lee Musteen

Hubert filming in WWII

Uncle Hubert was the only professional photographer in our homtown of Rogers, AR, until his too early death (Jun 27, 1956). I knew him as a happy and outgoing man, who loved children. Directly below is the last photo that Hubert took personally for Jennie and me. Mother had sewn our dresses, and I recall going to the downtown studio. We were positioned just-so on a bench in the back room of his professional space. The lights were arranged to give a pleasing likeness.

Hubert Lee Musteen

Jennie & Becky_Dresses by Anita_Photo by Uncle Hubert_about 1955

One memory is a visit to our farmhouse on highway 62. It was the summer I was 4…running around in only a pair of cotton shorts because it was so hot. Hubert laughingly picked me up and tossed me into the air. When he caught me, I slid down from his shoulders, into his arms. An uncapped fountain pen was sticking up from his shirt pocket, and the tip unexpectedly skewered me in the navel. Mother, who tended to be a “worst case” worrier, was horrified that I’d get blood poisoning, but I played on with no ill effects.

Hubert Lee Musteen

Michael Wayne Musteen standing on Grandma Jennie’s table. Note Life Magazine cover composities on the dining wall.

Grandma Musteen prized several framed Life Magazine covers with her image and each grandchild photographically manipulated… long before PhotoShop! They hung on her living and dining room walls before her 2nd street house burned, the summer I was 7. Here you see my brother, Michael, standing on Grandma’s huge dining table. The table height made us easy to reach for sewing projects! Behind Michael is a framed photo of Hubert’s older daughter, Martha Jane.

Hubert Musteen

Hubert Musteen, year unknown.

I recently found the photo on the left…neither Martha or I had seen it before. We have no idea of his age, and this is the only childhood photo either of us had seen of Hubert.

He was a talented photographer and an enterprising businessman. His picture postcards of Rogers, AR, and surrounding area appear periodically on eBay and antique postcard sites.

Hubert Lee Musteen

Hubert shot a few minutes of family video in old reel-to-reel format before Grandpa Musteen died in 1946. Grandpa, Grandma and the twins were hamming it up at Christmas. The VHS conversion is not a good quality to share, so one project will be to find the original films as our cousin David Musteen’s children sort through his estate.

In earlier family research, Shelia Snow Musteen posted this photo of Hubert. On the same page, you can see his headstone. Here is a photo with parents and siblings who survived (a brother and sister died as children). Videos of Grandma Jennie show her with a great laugh, so it’s surprising that the family photo looks somber.

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Jennie Brown Musteen: Gardening Memories

Grandma Jennie Brown Musteen always had a well-worn, slim paper copy of the Farmer’s Almanac at hand for in-person or telephone updates about phases of the moon or the best time to plant above-ground or root crops.

When I was very young, her garden was a large plot that had once been occupied by Grandpa Musteen’s horse barn. She thought it was helpful to the soil to burn off old growth, and I watched at least once. When my own dad, following her example, lit a fire to clear our own moderately large garden space on 4th street, concerned next-door neighbors called the Fire Department to stand on alert until Dad’s project was finished!

Seed Store, Rogers, ARI recall the excitement of going each year to buy seeds. Grandma would know exactly how much she wanted of corn, green beans, peas, squash, watermelon, and other staples. Her selections would be measured or weighed and bound in tiny brown bags, tied with twine. I’m searching for the name of the seed store, if anyone can give that information. I had copied the image above from Rogers, AR Museum online photo archive, and I might simply have failed to tag it correctly.  

Grandma Jennie’s Garden

I have never in my life tasted a more delicious cantaloupe than the warm, fragrant and perfectly-ripe melon that I remember being carried directly into her kitchen and cut into eighths. Grandma liked to sprinkle her cantaloupe with ground black pepper. That was OK with me as a taste test, but I really preferred mine with nothing added. To this day, I much prefer the wonderful taste of a sun-warmed, ripe tomato to any room temperature or chilled supermarket version. Standing in the garden, brushing it off and biting into it…there’s just no comparison.

She’d split tiny yellow squash in half length-wise, score and dot with butter and pepper before baking. I’ve never eaten squash prepared in any way I like better.

For family gatherings, when we cousins were young, watermelon would be cut in half length-wise, then into several slivers of about 2 inches at the rind. We’d all be given a slice and run around her yard, spitting seeds into the grass. You can imagine how sticky we were and in need of a wash cloth or water hose by the time we were finished!

Grandma’s green beans with bacon were a constant at meals. She cooked them until all water was gone and the beans were just short of being scorched on the bottom of the pan. We didn’t know anything about nutrition, so everyone just enjoyed the taste and no one worried.

I learned with her to make crisp bread-and-butter pickles and pickled beets. She’d probably canned everything at least once, including salmon on a trip to the Pacific Northwest to visit one of Grandpa’s older sons, Howard.

It’s been nearly 30 years since I’ve had a space to plant anything, but my sister gardens and cans every summer.

Question for my siblings and Musteen cousins: what memories do you have of Grandma in her garden or canning? Please leave a comment and share with your children.

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Jack and Joe Musteen: Twins and Tough to Tell Apart

Jack and Joe Musteen were identical twins, dressed alike and enjoyed great advantage in being so hard to tell apart. Imagine two feisty, identical twins in constant motion, and you can understand why people had such trouble telling one from the other. Their children can usually study a photo like the one below and tell you which twin is on the right (Jack) or left (Joe).

Jack and Joe Musteen

Jack and Joe Musteen

In our small hometown of Rogers, AR, many simply greeted them by saying, “Hi, Twin.” My husband once waited for me outside a grocery store and said, “I saw your dad.” I had to smile. I’d seen him in the store, and it was actually Uncle Jack.

The twins were notorious for minor scrapes and could fool pretty much anyone. The brother who liked English in junior high attended twice a day, while the brother who liked math sat in both classes.

There’s a family tale about one twin being spanked twice when Grandpa grabbed one, while the other ran around the side of their barn. Grandpa thought the next boy was sobbing in anticipation and didn’t realize it was the twin he’d already punished. Both boys claimed to be the one who was thrashed twice, so we never got the true story.

Mrs. Rogers, our Guidance Counselor in junior high, was a teacher or counselor when Dad and Jack were in school. She told me once about an infamous disagreement. The twins were born in 1929, and Grandpa was still using horse-drawn equipment to grade county roads during the depression years. To make the boy’s shoes last longer, he tacked narrow strips of iron—left over from making horse shoes— around the toes of each boy’s sturdy leather shoes.

Jack (later a successful salesman) secured an usher job at the downtown Victory Theater, and Dad agreed to do both his and Jack’s home chores for half of Jack’s weekly wages. Everyone was happy until Jack received a 5-cent raise and neglected to advise Joe. Mrs. Rogers was present when Dad learned the terrible truth. She said he had Jack on the ground and was kicking him “for all he was worth” with those steel-toed shoes!

When both twins returned from the Korean War, they were at Grandma Musteen’s house for a few days to rest and visit with family. Grandma’s one bathroom was divided, with the sink and mirror facing the door, and the toilet and tub behind that wall. Mother was so embarrassed when she discovered that she had walked up behind Jack at the sink to hug him around the waist…Dad was behind the partition!

They sounded alike on the phone, too.

For a few years we lived on Hiway 94 at the edge of Rogers, AR city limits, and our huge front yard and gravel driveway would flood almost up to the house during heavy rains. It was great fun for the kids to scamper around in exciting water streams, less for Mother. Dad would often travel with teams of Bell Telephone colleagues for repair during storms or ice damage. Jack called once for Dad, and it was quite awhile before he could say over her irritated description of our home situation, “Anita, this is Jack.”

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Carolyn Mckenzie’s Outstanding Family Research Includes Mustain, Mustaine and Musteen

I own a copy of my mother’s family research. It’s 500+ pages that my grandmother’s aunt typed in the 1960’s. She was nearly finished when a chance reply to one letter opened information to nine more generations.

Mustain, Mustaine & Musteen

A huge “thank you!” to Carolyn Mckenzie for detailed research of Mustain, Mustaine & Musteen family history.

I find online research very time consuming. It’s hard to imagine only letters, long-distance telephone calls and printed materials as resources!

The following,  outstanding collection was compiled by Carolyn Mckenzie, and presents information in three different views as described below.*  She included Mustain, Mustaine and Musteen.
We’re thankful for the MANY hours devoted to Mustain family research!

 

Click “Next Page” in the top menu to see each new page.
http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/m/c/k/Carolyn–Mckenzie/GENE1-0001.html

Here is a nine-generation list.

http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/m/c/k/Carolyn–Mckenzie/ODT2-0001.html

Here is a tree format.**

http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/m/c/k/Carolyn–Mckenzie/tree1.html

*What a treasure we have in both Delores M Mustaine’s and Carolyn Mckenzie’s research! I have noticed a few places where Carolyn might have slightly different details from one version of her research to another…for example from the descending generation view to the tree-format view…perhaps a death year one place and not another. I can just imagine how difficult and time-consuming it was for her to enter and format all that information! I mention this only to say that as you use her research, you may want to check between the different formats.

** When you use the “tree” view of Carolyn’s research, click inside the tree box after it loads the information (you’ll see a bar inside the top of the box as all the information is added), then type F to see an alphabetical list of names. Other directions are on the page, but the need to click inside the box before typing F to get the full, alphabet-order list is not clear.

Carolyn has researched my own branch of the family from Thomas’ son, Avery, down through my grandfather, Nathaniel Baxter Musteen, plus some of his children and grandchildren. You can see some online history links to each generation of my branch in the page titled “Note to Family.”

I have not found a photo or any other information about Carolyn McKenzie. If you have anything I’d love to know. Please comment, share this blog with your branch of our family and add details and/or links for research you may have found.

If you have written or oral history, or photos, of your branch; I’ll be glad to add one or more posts to this blog for you. I know we’re unlikely to find many photos before the later 1800s. I have only a handful of older photos from my grandparents.

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Nathaniel Baxter Musteen & Jennie Lee Brown Children

Nathaniel married Feb 14, 1898 in Rogers, Benton Co., AR to Zelpha Katherine Kennan,* who was born Oct 22, 1878, in Rogers, Benton Co., AR. She died of tuberculosis, leaving Nathaniel with four young children. Here is a link to show all 12 of Nathaniel’s children.

Nathaniel, as a young widower with four surviving children, married Jennie Lee Brown about 19 months later on Dec 8, 1912 in Rogers, Benton Co., AR. Jennie was born Jul 31, 1887 in Rogers, AR.

Viveline, the 2nd child, died as an infant.

Viveline M. Musteen

Nathaniel and Jennie had seven children. The last were identical twins, born when the couple were ages 53 and 43. The twins were 26 years younger than their oldest half-brother, Walter.

Jack and Joe were infamous for mischief! I found one newspaper article about summer camp as young teenagers…they won the title of “Camp Pests.”

Grandma said, when I dropped by to visit once, “My children were mostly born late at night after wash day.” We can imagine a back-breaking day, using a wooden paddle and scrub board. She bent over a huge cast iron kettle of boiling water filled with soiled clothes and shavings of homemade lye soap. Feet allowed a fire to be kindled outdoors under the tub to heat the wash and then rinse water. She still had a galvanized scrub board and made several batches of lye soap, both to use and to demonstrate the process, when her grandchildren were young.

Granddaughter Jennie Musteen Hill inherited the big cast iron laundry tub that Joe used as a planter for years, until his own death.

Aunt Mary, who was almost 8 when they were born, said in her 80s that she had no idea the twins were expected.

Jack and Joe Musteen

Jack (L) and Joe (R) MusteenGrandma was expecting Jack and Joe. The children slept on the floor above Grandma and Grandpa’s bedroom in the house on 2nd street, with stairs going up though their parent’s bedroom. Mary said she came downstairs one morning to be surprised by twin babies!

The photo below is the only formal picture I know of their family group. I recently watched the few minutes of video that Uncle Hubert shot while Grandpa was alive, and I was surprised at how much Grandma laughed and smiled…what fun she was having while they opened Christmas presents with teenaged twins. Weeks after the twins returned from Korea, snippets of video captured great happiness in a holiday dinner.

Nathaniel Baxter Musteen

Left to right, Wayne, Mary, Hubert, Jack, Jennie, Nathaniel and Joe Musteen.

Parents
Nathaniel Baxter Musteen, b Aug 7 1876, d Nov 18 1946
Jennie Lee Brown Musteen, b Jul 31, 1887, d Mar 1975

Children
Hubert Lee Musteen, b Nov 1 1913, d Jun 27 1956
Viveline M. Musteen, b Jun 29 1916, d Feb 18 1918
Wayne Hebron Musteen, b Oct 29 1918, d Sep 21, 2003
Mary Virginia Musteen, b Jan 27 1922, d Feb 7, 2011
Bennie Dean Musteen, b Feb 5 1925, d Dec 31 1934
Jack Raymond Musteen, b Sep 15 1929, d Jul 19 1983
Joe Brown Musteen, b Sep 15 1929, d Dec 17, 1991

Bennie Dean Musteen

Bennie Dean Musteen

Viveline died as an infant. Bennie Dean lived to almost age 10. Mary’s son, Bennie Joe Stevenson has the names of her two brothers. This photo of Bennie Dean was taken at home. Grandma Jennie’s grandchildren will remember seeing that varnished oak side table as a constant in her living room over the years.

Until recently I hadn’t thought of Grandma as an older, single mother of teenage boys. Grandpa died when the twins were 17, and they were not quiet, introverted young men. She was living alone when the twins were sent to Korea.

Please add comments and information that I may not know or have listed here. Let’s compile interesting and enjoyable memories for ourselves and later generations.

*Zelpha’s name is shown in many online references as Zilpha.

 

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Avery Mustain Revolutionary War Record and Grave

With Thanksgiving 2012 days away, I count many blessings. Not least of which is that my forefather, Avery Mustain, lived through 5 years of Revolutionary War battles, so that I could one day be born.

Until I found the sworn statement of Avery’s war experience, I had no details of his service or that he was present at the Siege of Yorktown. I wonder if he was aware of George Washington’s presence or the greatness of this event. Avery was 20 years old when he volunteered on Jul 11, 1776 and was detailed to march to Noland’s Ferry on the Potomac river with the prisoners from the Siege of Yorktown.  At Leesburg he received a discharge about the last of Nov 1781.

Surrender of Lord Cornwalis at the Seige of Yorktown

Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at the Seige of Yorktown. Public domain image courtsey of Wikipedia.

The Siege of Yorktown, Battle of Yorktown, or Surrender of Yorktown, the latter taking place on October 19, 1781, was a decisive victory by a combined force of American Continental Army troops led by General George Washington and French Army troops led by the Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis. The culmination of the Yorktown campaign, it proved to be the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War in North America, as the surrender by Cornwallis of his army prompted the British government to negotiate an end to the conflict.

Avery (born Feb 26, 1756 to Thomas and Mary Haley Mustain) served in the Revolutionary War and was allowed pension on his application executed Aug. 22, 1832. STATE OF VIRGINIA – COUNTY OF PITTSYLVANIA (National Archives File 7488 Rev. War). Avery had lost his discharge papers from Nov. 1781 and did not file for pension benefits until age 76. He forfeited all claim to back payments. From this online post, it seems that Avery’s delay was not his own, but the U.S. government’s inaction to accept pension applications. “The government waited until 50 years after the war (1832) to accept pension applications.”

Reproduced below is the full text of Avery’s pension application statement, which can be found in PDF form at this site. I have not altered spelling or punctuation of the statement. Nowhere in the document is Avery’s regiment name. We know he enlisted under Captain Thomas Dillard. In this family history by Lucy Henderson, we read on page 58 that in June of 1776, Captain Dillard’s force marched in hunting shirts to Gwynne’s Island. Avery would have been on that march, since he volunteered about June 1 of 1776. Lucy writes that Captain Thomas Dillard was of “the Continential line of the Pittsylvania County regulars.”  I’ve found no online match for that term.

Pension Application of Avery Mustain: W7488
Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris

State of Virginia}
County of Pittsylvania} Sct

On this 22nd day of August 1832 personally appeared in open Court before David H. Clark, Wm S. Pannill, Coleman D. Bennett & John A. Clark the Court of Pittsylvania County now sitting Avery Mustain a resident of Camden Parish in the County of Pittsylvania and State of Virginia aged 76 years who being first duly sworn according to Law doth on his Oath make the following declaration in Order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832. That he was born 26th February 1756 near where he now lives, about 1st June 1776 he volunteered under Thomas Dilliard [Dillard] Capt., John Heard Lieut, Robert Dalton Ensign and marched to Guyns [sic: Gwynn] Island Va near the mouth of the Peanketank [sic: Piankatank] River and assisted in driving off Lord Dunmore, the then Governor of Va [11 July 1776]. There was no officer of higher grade than Capt. on the side of the River he was stationed. While there an express arrived and he marched with his Company to the Tennessee River in the [now] state of Tennessee against the Cherokee nation of Indians. in this expedition Heard was Capt. (Capt. Dilliard having thrown up) Dalton was Lieut. & Turly [sic: Tully] Choice Ensign.

After arriving at New London Va. [in present Campbell County] they were attached to the command of Colo. Charles Lewis of Albemarle Va. He forgets his Maj’r. Capt. [Joseph] Martin (afterwards Gen’l. Martin of Henry Cty Va.) commanded a company in the expedition. After arriving on the Holston River, Colo Wm Christian being the oldest officer was first in command. after arriving in the Indian Territory (the enemy having deserted their homes) they burnt up their Houses and Corn and Eat their Potatoes. all of his Company returned thence home. No discharges were given and all returned with their Captain a few days before Christmass 1776.

About the first of May 1780 he was drafted to go to the South. Isaac Clement Capt (forgets the name of Lieut. and Ensign) he marched by Peter Perkins on Dan River Va where he met several companys, by Hilsboro [sic: Hillsborough] N.C. where he met with manny troops and the following officers, General [Edward] Stevens who was the Commander, Colonels Richerson [sic: Holt Richardson] & [Ralph] Faulkner and Maj’r Henry Conway. thence he marched towards Camden S.C. crossing the Big & Little Peedee [sic: Pee Dee] and a few miles this side of Camden he met with General’s [Horatio] Gates, DeKalb and [William] Smallwood and next day was in the Battle in which the Americans were defeated [Battle of Camden, 16 Aug 1780]. He then returned home about the last of August 1780 and received a discharge.

In February 1781 he volunteered under Gabriel Shelton Capt., James Waid Lieut. & Vincent Shelton Ensign. Capt Shelton left his company and he was then commanded by Capt Thomas Smith, crossed Dan River at Boyds Ferry, crossed Haw river in North Carolina & after marching to & fro for a while returned home after being absent 4 or 5 weeks & was not in the Battle of Guilford [15 March 1781]. In August 1781 he was drafted to go to the siege of York Town Va [28 Sep - 19 Oct 1781]. William Dix Capt., David Hurt Lieut, Clem McDaniel Ensign. after arriving at York Town, Capt Dix was succeeded by Capt. Charles Willliams. He assisted in raising breast works & Batterys; after the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, he was detailed and marched to Nolands Ferry on the Potowmac [sic: Potomac] river with the Prisoners and at Leesburg he received a discharge about the last of November 1781 which he has lost. He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a Pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the Pension roll of the Agency of any state – Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid – Avery Mustain

NOTE: On 18 Mar 1839 Mary Mustain, 74, applied for a pension stating that she married Avery Mustain in March 1783, and he died 31 Aug 1833. A typed summary states that her maiden name was Mary Barber. With her application is a family record with the names and dates of birth of their children and apparently some grandchildren.

Avery’s Grave Stone and Location

Avery Mustain Headstone

Avery Mustain (1756-1833)

This Find a Grave link has a photo of Avery’s headstone, with name misspelled, and details about the cemetery.

Please note that it’s on private land.

Cemetery notes and/or description:
Located on private property down behind the barn.
36 56.673N 79 18.520 W
Thanks to Mike K. Williams for the GPS coordinates.

According to a pittsylvaniacountyhistory.com, Avery’s grave is located at 2277 Rockford School Road in Gretna, VA. (5 mi. N of Ray’s Mill). This discussion thread from ancestry.com gives details from someone who has visited the grave.

I have to wonder why Avery’s spouse, Mary, waited until 1839 to file for her rights to Avery’s pension, after he died in 1833. Here are other online references to Avery’s war service:

Roster of Revolutionary War soldiers from Pittsylvania Co., in alphabetical order:
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~vapittsy/revolutionary.htm#list

Also:

http://en.rodovid.org/wk/Person:108720

 

Littleberry Patterson, Molley Mustain’s Father-in-Law Also Was in the Revolution

According to Delores M. Mustaine’s book, The descendents of Thomas Mustain of Pittsylvania County, Virginia; Thomas’ daughter Molley’s father-in-law, Littleberry Patterson, was also a veteran of the Revolutionary War. So far, I’ve found this reference. The online photo archive of Delores’ book does not show numbers on each page. If you begin with the page titled “Pioneer, Thomas Mustain of Virginia,” details about Molley and the Patterson family begin in the middle of the 5th page.

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Saludy Mustain Shelton 1772: Daughter of Thomas Mustain

September 2014 update: for even more variety in name spellings, I’ve just found the marriage record on familysearch.org for “Clabron Shelton and Luedy Mustain.”

Citing this Record

“Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X5YP-F4F : accessed 06 Sep 2014), Thomas Mustain in entry for Clabron Shelton and Luedy Mustain, 16 May 1785; citing Pittsylvania, Virginia, reference Page 7; FHL microfilm 33326.

The following details are from the History of Gallia, OH by W. Grody (A collection of family histories from Gallia County in 1980). Research on Saludy Mustain Shelton was posted at this link.

Claborn Shelton was the son of John Shelton, d. 1804 in Pittsylvania Co., VA.
Claborn married Saludy (Leudy) Mustain, daughter of Thomas & Mary Haley Mustain of Pittsylvania Co., VA on May 16, 1785.

Claborn served in the Indian Wars under General Wayne and was much impressed with the farming possibilities of the Wabash County. The government, unable to pay its soldiers in cash, offered land instead. So Claborn in 1811 headed for that county.

Thomas Mustain Children

Symmes Creek photo from Wikipedia, permission from Tim Kiser.

They loaded the bedding in a wagon and Saludy drove a cow hitched to the wagon. All but William, the youngest who rode with his mother, walked and carried packs. They followed buffalo and Indian trails and had traveled many miles when they came to what was to become Greenfield Township, Gallia Co., OH.

Saludy became too ill to go on. Chimney Rock on Symmes Creek furnished shelter. The Creek was full of fish and the woods full of game.

 

In the Spring of 1812 Saludy died at the age of 40 (b in 1772). She is buried in a private cemetery on the opposite hillside.

Claborn built a cabin and stayed on until the children were grown.

  • Jesse married Peggy Blake in 1817.
  • Thomas married Polly Carter in 1825.
  • Claborn with Jesse and Thomas headed for the Wabash
    County.

    • Thomas received a land patent in Adams Township, Madison Co, IN.
    • Jesse moved on into Shelby Co, IL.
    • Claborn died in IN in 1848.

Many of Claborn’s descendants remain in Gallia Co.,OH.

Please note: while the history from Mr. Grody’s book lists names as “Saluda” and “Claiborn,” I find references to “Saludy” and “Claborn.” This is one reference. I’ve added tags with dual spelling for both names to this article to assist anyone who might be searching for ancestors.

Saludy was listed in Thomas Mustain’s 1791 will, so we have that spelling also as verification.

To son Avery Mustain and daughters Anna Buckner, Milly Keesee, Tabetha Bruce, Winney Lewis, and Saludy Shelton one equal part of the money from the sale of the land;

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Thomas Mustain Will 1791

Thomas Mustain Will

Thomas Mustain will was written on November 6, 1791 and entered into court on November 21, 1791. This photo for illustrative purposes only.

On November 6, 1791, Thomas Mustain, “being weak in body,” wrote his will:

  • To my beloved wife Mary Mustain, a sufficient maintenance suitable to her circumstance, as long as she remains a widow;

  • To my son Jesse, 200 acres to be taken off the upper end of the tract that I now live on: Beginning at the upper N corner and running down the N line  onto the S line, making his complement;

  • The balance of the tract of land I live on to be sold to the highest bidder giving 18 months credit;

  • To daughters, Rebecca and Molly, twenty shillings each;

  • To daughters Mary Ann and Sally, ten pounds each;

  • To son Avery Mustain and daughters Anna Buckner, Milly Keesee, Tabetha Bruce, Winney Lewis, and Saludy Shelton one equal part of the money from the sale of the land;

  • To Thomas Mustain, son of Jesse Mustain and his wife Jenny, has promised to live with me and my wife during our lives for which I give and bequeath unto the said Thomas Mustain a tract of land on both sides of Mayes Creek, 170 acres, and 1/3 of my moveable property;

  • The balance of my moveable property to be divided among my last six named children.

  • I appoint son, Jesse Mustain, and Joel Shelton executors.

Signed by Thomas Mustain (with his X).  Witnessed by Frances Irby, Nathaniel Farris, and Griffith Dickinson.  Vincent Shelton and Charles Lewis, Jr. gave security for the executors.  This will was entered into court on November 21, 1791.

Unfortunately, it was not long before Jesse died.  Family lore says he fell from his horse while intoxicated.  On June 1, 1795, Polly Mustain, widow of Jesse, mortgaged her dower of 66 2/3 acres to Samuel and David Pannill for thirty pounds. On August 21, 1797, Jesse’s son Thomas was made legal guardian to Jesse’s minor children.  Also in 1797, the whole plantation, including Polly’s dower, was sold to Benjamin Gosney and passed out of the Mustain family.

In 1817, Gosney sold the property to Richard Whitehead for $2,840.  When Whitehead bought roughly the other half of the Mustain tract in 1811, he had, in effect, the land to which Thomas Mustain was given patent by George II.  Around 1836, Richard Whitehead made structural changes to the house:  moving the south and north doors (front and back) on the 2nd floor, as well as adding a wall to make a center hallway corresponding to the new placement of doors.  Richard and his wife, Pency, were buried together near the house, but in 1934 they were removed to Chatham, VA

The details above are from a description of the property when it was for sale in 2002.

Here is the entry for Thomas Mustain will 1791 posted on ancestry.com. Each basic point is essentially the same, but language and spellings are different.

Last Will and Testament of THOMAS MUSTAIN weak in body.

Deed Book 9, pg. 119-120, written 6 November 1791, probated 16 July 1792

To my beloved wife Mary MUSTAIN, a sufficient maintenance suitable to her surcomstance, free and undesturbed during her life or widowhood.

To my son Jesse, 200 acres to be taken off the upper end of the tract where I now live.

The rest of this tract to be sold.

To daughter, Rebeckah and Molly, twenty shillings each from the sale of the above land.

To daughters Mary Ann and Sally, ten pounds each.

To son Avery MUSTAIN and daughters Anna BUCKNER, Milley KEESE, Tabeth BRUCE, Winney LEWIS and Siludey SHELTON one equal part of the money from the sale of the land.

To Thomas MUSTAIN, son of Jesse MUSTAIN and his wife Jenney, has promised to live with me and my wife during our lives for which I give and bequeath unto the said Thomas MUSTAIN a tract of land on both sides of Nixes(?) Creek, 170 acres.

The balance of my moveable property to be divided among my last six named children.

Appoint son Jesse MUSTAIN and Joel SHELTON executors.

THOMAS (X) MUSTAIN

Witnesses: Francis (X) IVY, Nathaniel FARIS, Griffith DICKINSON Vincent SHELTON and Charles LEWIS, Jr. security for executors

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