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** To the Tysonville, Mason Hall, Davenport history page **

About my WorldConnect database

Mason Hall, on the Obion-Gibson County line in northwest Tennessee, 25 miles south of the Mississippi River crossing at Hickman Kentucky, was a wagon stop on the major migration route west in the early and mid 1800s. Thousands of the early pioneers from the Carolinas and East Tennessee passed through, or lived here briefly, on their way West. The community was one of the earliest in Obion County and grew from an earlier settlement known as Tysonville in Gibson County. This WorldConnect database records those first settlers and as well as individuals of nearby Davenport in Dyer County.

This is also the first complete recording of the descendants of my g-g-g-grandfather, Thomas Jenkins b 1767 Bute Co NC, and g-grandson of William Jenkins of Rappahannock VA.

Long gone, but will live here forever<

There is a tradition that each person dies three times.
First, there is the moment in which the body stops functioning.
Second, when the remains are consigned to the grave.
Third, is that moment, sometime in the future, in which no one remembers the person and their name is spoken for the last time.
Then that person is really gone.
I believe that genealogists who preserve the memories of persons from their past are preventing that third death.
We keep our ancestors and loved ones alive forever by never forgetting that if it were not for them we would not have existed.


“My feelings are in each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve. To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before. We are the story tellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called as it were by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us: Tell our story. So we do. We are the Chosen

In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors you have a wonderful family you would be proud of us? How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say. It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I and why do I do the things I do. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying I can't let this happen. The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish. How they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family. It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us. That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do.

With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are them and they are us. So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take their place in the long line of family storytellers. That, is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and put flesh on the bones.” ...... Author Unknown

"To rescue from oblivion the history of a large and honorable family is a praiseworthy achievement. Somebody must begin the work. It is to be hoped that someone will complete it. Only those who have made the attempt have any conception of the magnitude and difficulty of the undertaking. It is like prospecting for silver and gold. In a large degree it is, indeed, a search for hidden treasures "
Joseph Woodruff Bozeman, 1885.

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body. But rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming .... WOW what a ride.” - Mark Frost

"Genealogy is not chiseled in stone, but derived from fleeting footprints in the sand"

My file records most of the first families to settle in, pass through, and the children born in the Mason Hall community and the many intermarriages among this small group of families. Our family's ancestors, the Maldonados, Moncados, Jenkins, Lovitts, Bradfords, Vantreeses, Garretts, Neelys, Dyers, Parkers, Hayes, Crousons, Hunters, Cases, and Underwoods, are included also. This file contains over 15,000 individuals of early Mason Hall and their descendants, and others that are related to our families. Other more recent individuals of the local area are recorded here as well.

Some of the more notable individuals recorded in this file are:

* My ancestor, William Jenkins b 1675, of Rappahannock Virginia ..... My Jenkins Web Page ...... Rappahannock to Mason Hall
* The wife's ancestors in Obion Co, Thomas Parker, a Rev War veteran, Joseph W. Neely, William Hayes, and James Bradford Crouson
* Edmond Hodges, another Rev War veteran that died here in Obion Co
* Jacob Chapman of West Virginia, a Rev War veteran in our family
* David Crockett, who lived near Mason Hall just before leaving for The Alamo, and his descendants that remained in the local area.
* Jesse Reeves, a hunting friend of Crockett
* Horatio Bunce, a local farmer and expert on the US Constitution
* The large Pierce and Headden families of the area
* Baptist Boyett, one of the first Mason Hall community leaders
* Almon Case, our ancestor, a doctor, and state senator, who was assassinated near Hornbeak shortly after the Civil War
* Gen Kenneth M. Taylor, a Jenkins cousin and hero during the attack on Pearl Harbor
* Margaret Nolen Nichol, a professional genealogist with roots in Mason Hall
* PFC Michael Lee Crouson, a cousin KIA in Vietnam
* Lt Richard Clive Lannom, a local pilot that is Missing in Action in North Vietnam
* Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Carson Vaughn, local Seal that lost his life in Afghanistan
* Mario Galento, a Boyett descendant and champion wrestler
* Haywood Green, Mason Hall historian
* Nettie Jenkins Bowen and Lawrence William Routh, earlier NC Jenkins researchers
* Josef Dumfart, not related in any way
* Ben McAlilley, Joe Marshall, Willie Gilmore, and Major Mills, of Trimble
* And other early families of the Mason Hall community, Crains, Tilghmans, Hollomons, Finches, Tysons, Nichols, Garrisons, Reeves, Hargetts, and Joseph Taylor who at last count had 22 children born in Mason Hall

Mom, 1936
A new project is underway adding 100s of photos to this file of our family's ancestors, and descendants of Mason Hall's first settlers.


Come, look with me inside this drawer, in this box I've often seen. At the pictures, black and white, faces proud, still, and serene.
I wish I knew the people, these strangers in the box, thier names and all thier memories lost among my socks.
I wonder what their lives were like, how did they spent their days? What about their special times, I'll never know their ways.
If only someone had taken the time to tell us who, what, where, or when, these faces of my heritage would come to life again.
Could this become the fate of pictures we take today? The faces and the memories, someday to be passed away?
Make time to save your stories, seize the opportunity when it knocks. Or someday you and yours may be the Strangers in the Box.


Who is this couple? These two pictures were given to me in the late 1980s by the wife of Allan Chalker of Dyer TN after his passing. Allan was the son of Ada Bradford, my great-aunt, and George Chalker. Edna found them in her garage and had no idea who they were. These beautiful tin-type photos are estimated to be over a 100 years old. The photos may be of my grandmother's grandparents, Young and Catherine Bradford. They are not James and Nancy Bradford. Were they John Jr. and Mary Ann Lovitt? Could they possibly be George Chalker's parents or grandparents?

A newly installed family tree program in my computer has resulted in format errors displaying some Facts in my WorldConnect file. Some marriage and birth dates are not in correct sequence. I am correcting them as I find them.

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