A to Z Challenge – P is for Paternal

Blogging from A to Z April 2013 Challenge

P is for Paternal

I write sooooo much about my mother’s ancestry line. On her side, I have five grandfathers who fought for the Confederacy, two who fought in the War of 1812, two in the Revolution, and Irish and English ancestors dating way, way, way back. I seldom write about my father’s line, so I thought P should stand for Paternal and I should blog about my daddy’s side.


My father was Andrew Frank “Andy” Crane Jr. (1940-1994). He was born in MS and died in TN.


Daddy headstone

My grandfather was Andrew Frank Crane Sr. “Frank” (1903-1979). He married Margaret Azalea Pickett (see Pickett Family below).

Grandpa and Miss Crane

My great grandfather was Amos Bolivar Crane (1881-1959). There are still a lot of men named Bo in the Crane family. Amos married Mary Elizabeth “Minnie” White and her family was from Tennessee and North Carolina. I see a lot of Tennessee/NC mixtures in my tree. The state line must have been blurred for a long time.

crane amos bolivar

white mary elizabeth minnie white cranemaggie white, minnie crane, frank crane, Laura Catherine Morrow White, nannie white, sis narcissa

The woman holding the baby is Minnie White Crane, and the baby is my grandpa Andrew Frank Crane Sr. The woman in the middle is my great great grandma Laura Catherine Morrow White.

My 2nd great was Andrew Jackson “Jack” Crane (1856-1905). He married Martha Jane Mercer, whose grandmother was a Windham. I have the Mercers traced back to 1500 England. They came to America about 1650. The Windhams are traced back to 1665 Virginia, but with a name like Windham, I’m sure they came from England.

crane a j and wife obelisk

crane martha jane mercer

My 3rd great was Jeremiah William Crane (1828-1860). He married Sarah Frances Grimes. Her family, the Grimes and the Pettibones, came to America from England in the late 1600s.

My 4th great was Jeremiah Crane (1781-?) born in Georgia. He married Mary Polly Weldon. The Weldon family came to America from England in the mid-1600s.


My paternal grandmother was Margaret Azalea Pickett (1919-2005). I have the Pickett line traced back to 1591 England. They came to America around 1600. Some settled in NY and MI, others moved south. I was born in MS and now live in MI. I find it funny that generations later I ended up where my some of my ancestors settled. Maybe I’m not supposed to be in the South.

MS Cemetery 052

Her father was Benjamin Berry Pickett (1893-1981). There is a book called “Thunder at Meridian” by Hewitt Clarke that relates a story of a 1923 bloody shoot-out between some moonshiners and a tax collector. One of the men went to prison for killing the tax collector. That was Grandpa Ben. You probably didn’t want to mess with him and his brothers. (Note: My grandmother said the story wasn’t true, but she was four at the time, so how much of the truth did she really know?) Ben married Eula Ouida Keene. I haven’t been able to trace the Keene family at all, but her mother’s family was the Browns. I traced them back to 1775 Georgia. Her grandpa, William Lafayette Brown, was a sharp-shooter in the Civil War, guarding the railroad bridges in Chunky, MS. He was captured and escaped. He allowed himself to be captured a second time to help others escape. He/they did. He had a bounty on his head for the rest of the war. The Browns were married into the Hamrick, Clearman, and Dollar families who have all been in America since before 1700. All came from England except the Hamricks, who were from Germany. (photo: Eula and Ben about 1970.) For more about Ben and Eula click here.

Pickett Ben and Eula Pickett

pickett ben and eula headstone

Ben Pickett’s mom was Caledonia Fisher (wife of Joseph Lawson Pickett). I haven’t been able to trace the Fishers back past 1700, because every generation has a Southy Fisher with a kid named Southy and umpteen grandchildren named Southy. North Carolina has more Southy Fisher records than the sky has stars. Too confusing for me to figure out.

pickett, joseph lawson sr, son of rt and lucy

pickett, caledonia d fisher, wf of joe lawson sr

I still have Fisher cousins living on Fisher land in MS, and they have tons of stories about my 3rd great grandpa William Thomas Fisher and his escapades during the Civil War. He married Ann Butler. There is a story that he went down to New Orleans to get her a slave woman to keep the house. While he was there, he saw a young black boy and asked the slave traders what they were going to do with him. They told him they would throw him overboard for the sharks on the way back. He took the boy home and raised him as his own. The boy stayed by his side during the Civil War and fought for the Confederacy. William gave the boy forty acres when he set him free, and the boy’s family still lives on the land to this day. Note: Yeah, William’s dad was named Southy and his son was named William Southy. Ugh. (photo: William Thomas Fisher and Ann Butler on their wedding day.)

MS Cemetery 056William T. and Ann Elizabeth (Butler) Fisher

Just for kicks, here’s my great great great great grandpa Southy Fisher!

fisher southy fisher headstone

Well, that’s it. Not as interesting as mom’s family, but some good stories nonetheless. With all these English ancestors, I feel the need to go have a cup of tea.

2 responses to “A to Z Challenge – P is for Paternal

  1. How wonderful that you are able to discover so many relations. I am still trying to figure out my how my great-grandmother seems to have appeared out of nowhere, having multiple husbands with no evidence of any marriages and claims a step-son on an old census record along with some man no one ever heard of.

    • Haha, Denise, I have a few of those also. One of my 2nd greats was named Thomas Gilbert Lafayette Keene. You’d think I’d be able to find him with a name like that. Nope. Any chance your gr grandma was of Indian descent? Those are the ones that seem to magically appear out of thin air.

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