Entry for March 7, 2007

The website for "Seventy Years in the Coal Mines - the annotated edition" was created 15 October 2006. There have been many changes and additions since its beginning. The early chronology can be seen at:

At this time, I have added this blog that will continue my comments and chronology for the site.

2007-03-08 00:35:49 GMT

Entry for March 13, 2007

A few days ago, I was contacted by David Kilgour, who lives in Canada. He had read a post of mine on the KILGOUR message board about the Robert KILGOUR and Mary MCINDOE family of Neilston, Renfrewshire, Scotland. They were the parents of George GILGOUR, 2nd husband of Margaret (Francis) LUDLAM GILGOUR. The entry about them can be found in the annotated edition, http://www.seventyyearsinthecoalmines.org/syitcmtext.htm, in footnote #11 on page 15.

David thinks that the parents of Robert KILGOUR were Samuel KILGOUR, born in 1796 in Ireland, and his wife, Martha WALKER, born 1791 in Ireland. Although he has no direct proof, he wrote that there was only one KILGOUR family in Neilston during that time period. Therefore, it is very likely that Robert was their son. Other children of Samuel and Martha were: Samuel b. 1816; Helen b. 1821; Joseph b. 1823; and Mary.

I was also able to trace some of the later descendants of the Robert and Mary (McIndoe) KILGOUR family in Schuylkill County, PA. The family's name underwent a gradual transition from KILGOUR to GILGOUR to GILGORE. An outline descendant tree of the family is shown below:

Descendants of Robert Kilgour/Gilgour

1 Robert Kilgour/Gilgour b: Abt. 1814 in Ireland or Scotland d: Bet. 1880 - 1900

.. +Mary McIndoe b: Abt. 1814 in Ireland or Scotland d: Bet. 1870 - 1880

. 2 Margaret Kilgour b: Abt. 1841 in Renfrewshire, Scotland d: Bef. 1850

. 2 George Gilgour b: 20 Oct 1842 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co, PA d: 03 Oct 1918 in Pottsville, Schuylkill Co, PA

..... +Mary Ann Groom b: Abt. 1829 in Wales d: Bet. 1880 - 1900

. *2nd Wife of George Gilgour:

..... +Margaret Francis b: 14 Jun 1851 in Taff's Well, Eglwysilan, Glamorgan, Wales d: 05 Aug 1947 in Knoxville, Knox Co, TN

. 2 Martha Gilgour b: Abt. 1844 in PA or Canada

. 2 Robert Gilgour b: Abt. 1849 in PA or Canada

..... +Mary ? b: Abt. 1850 in Wales

..... 3 Robert H. Gilgore b: Abt. 1874 in PA

......... +Alice R. ? b: Abt. 1880 in PA

......... 4 Robert A. Gilgore b: 23 May 1901 in PA d: Jan 1970

......... 4 Allan J. Gilgore b: 24 Aug 1904 in PA d: Mar 1969

......... 4 Miriam M. Gilgore b: Abt. 1907 in PA

..... 3 William Gilgore b: Bet. 1878 - 1879 in PA

......... +Elizabeth ? b: Abt. 1884 in PA

......... 4 William Gilgore b: 03 Jan 1912 in PA d: Sep 1979

......... 4 Mary Gilgore b: Abt. 1918 in PA

. 2 Eliza Gilgour b: Abt. 1852 in PA

..... +Thomas Moore b: Abt. 1850 in PA

..... 3 George Moore b: Abt. 1871 in PA

..... 3 Maggie Moore b: Abt. 1874 in PA

..... 3 Mary Moore b: Abt. 1876 in PA

..... 3 William Moore b: Abt. 1878 in PA

..... 3 Robert Moore b: Abt. 1892 in PA

2007-03-14 04:32:54 GMT

Entry for March 14, 2007

I have uploaded a revised version of "Seventy Years in the Coal Mines - the annotated edition". Minor additions were made to footnote #33 on page 30 and to footnote #63 on page 59.

2007-03-14 18:20:57 GMT

Comments (2 total)


I read your annotated version of Seventy Years in the Coal Mines today with my first visit to your website. The details are amazing! I will reurn to your blog with information and questions for you about my Francis ancestors from Anderson County, TN in the 1840-1914 time period - perhaps we have some ancestors in common. Keep on digging!
--B J Francis

2007-08-22 17:31:00 GMT



Thank you for your kind comments. I welcome any inquiry.
--Bailey Francis


2007-10-05 16:19:34 GMT


Entry for May 6, 2007

April 16th, 2007, was the 6-month milestone for the Seventy Years in the Coal Mines website.  Although, the site is a very low-volume site for visitors, there have been more than 2,800 total page views including more than 1,200 views of the home page and more than 160 views of the annotated edition.  I appreciate your interest and support.

2007-05-06 15:29:50 GMT


Entry for June 14, 2007


In the 1850 census for Schuylkill Twp., Schuylkill County, PA, I had previously found the family of Evan and Mary WILLIAMS along with children:  Anna 19, Margaret 15, Thomas 13, and Hallender 8, all born in Wales.  (see “Seventy Years in the Coal Mines – the annotated edition”, page 59, footnote #63.)  The family Bible record for the birth of Margaret (Williams) MEYRICK showed that she was born 23 March 1835 in Wales.  Since this Margaret WILLIAMS  was the only Margaret WILLIAMS of the same age in Schuylkill County in 1850, I thought that she was the most likely possibility to be my second great grandmother.  Using the Ancestry.com census index for Wales in 1841, the closest family that I could find was a household in Blaina, Aberystruth, Monmouthshire.  The household consisted of:  Evan WILLIAMS, head 35, collier; Mary 30, wife; Harriet, daughter, 10; Margaret, daughter, 6; Thomas, son, 4; and, Mary, daughter, 2.  Evan and daughter, Harriet, were born in Monmouthshire.  Wife, Mary, and the remaining children were not born in Monmouthshire.  If this was the same family, then Harriet from the 1841 census and Anna from the 1850 census would have to be the same person, and the ages matched.  Also, the absence of the daughter, Mary, in the 1850 census would suggest that she had probably died.  There were approximately 20 deaths in the old District of Abergavenny for the name, Mary WILLIAMS, in the 1841-1843 time range.  She could also have died during the voyage to the USA.  Hallender from the 1850 census was shown as Ellen in the 1860 census and was the only child remaining in the household in 1860.  A marriage for Evan WILLIAMS and Mary THOMAS on 29 March 1830 in St. Peters Church in Blaina was found in the Gwent Family History Society index, 1813-1837.  That was the only marriage of an Evan WILLIAMS to anyone named Mary in this area in that time period.  Before pursuing the marriage record, I wanted to see if the Ellen WILLIAMS, daughter of Evan and Mary WILLIAMS in the USA censuses 1850-1860, was the daughter of Evan WILLIAMS and Mary THOMAS.  After ordering two incorrect certificates, I received a birth certificate from the General Register Office in the UK for Eleanor WILLIAMS, born 13 August 1841 in Coalbrookvale, Aberystruth, Monmouthshire, Wales.  She was the daughter of Evan WILLIAMS, collier, and Mary WILLIAMS, formerly THOMAS.  Coalbrookvale is a small village near Blaina in Gwent (formerly Monmouthshire), Wales.  At this point, I think that the evidence is pretty convincing that this was the same family.  Unfortunately, I have been unable to trace the siblings of Margaret (Williams) MEYRICK.  I did find an Ellen LEWIS, 29 born in Wales, who was the wife of Abraham LEWIS, 30, miner, born in Wales, in the 1870 census for Mahanoy, Schuylkill County, PA.  They had no children in the household at that time.  I was unable to find them in the 1880 census.

2007-06-14 19:41:25 GMT


Entry for July 11, 2007

Today, I googled "Seventy Years in the Coal Mines" (doing a little fishing of my own), and I found several messages and comments about the book on a website called, "Fishing Pennsylvania" that were posted from 8 March through 11 March 2007.  The URL is included below:


I'm glad that they enjoyed the book.


2007-07-11 17:33:10 GMT


Entry for August 16, 2007

There is a new link on the Home Page to "Caroline's Pages".  This page is under construction.  So far, there are 6 new pages of photographs linked from Caroline's Pages.  Additional pages will be added soon.

2007-08-16 17:47:07 GMT


Entry for August 24, 2007

Many new pages of photographs were added to "Caroline's Pages" under "Caroline's Fifties Faces of LaFollette".

2007-08-24 20:12:08 GMT


Entry for August 25, 2007

A genealogy report of eight generations of the ancestors of Virginia Caroline (Summitt) FRANCIS has been added to "Caroline's Pages".
2007-08-25 14:22:57 GMT

Entry for August 26, 2007

I have uploaded images of the Tennessee Confederate Widow's Pension File for Sarah A. "Sallie" (Mauk) WOLFORD, widow of my 2nd great grandfather, Jacob Droke WOLFORD.  The images are linked to "Caroline's Pages".  I have three direct line ancestors who fought in the Civil War. The other two, Capt. William Carroll CARNS and Sgt. Joseph Abraham BROWN, both from Anderson County, TN, fought in Tennessee Regiments in the Union Army.

Entry for September 7, 2007

A revised version of the annotated edition of "Seventy Years in the Coal Mines" has been uploaded.  Footnote #104 on page 111 has been expanded to reflect recent research.

2007-09-07 17:52:16 GMT

Entry for September 21, 2007


Welcome to the newest direct descendant of Philip FRANCIS. Boyd Francis was born 19 September 2007 to Adam Boyd and Kim (Siegel) Francis. Boyd is a great great great grandson of Philip. All are doing well. Congratulations from a proud Grand Uncle.

2007-09-21 22:54:55 GMT

Entry for October 16, 2007

Today is the first anniversary of this website. There have been 4,365 total page views; 1,652 hits on the home page; 328 hits on the annotated edition; and, 149 hits on this blog. Again, I welcome comments, corrections, additions, etc., to the information on this site. You can e-mail me at: seventyyearsinthecoalmines@yahoo.com. I am especially interested in additional information about anyone mentioned in the annotated edition or elsewhere on the site. Thank you for your interest, and I hope that the site has been useful and entertaining.

Bailey Francis
2007-10-16 16:29:55 GMT

Entry for November 19, 2007

A new version of "Seventy Years in the Coal Mines - the annotated edition" has been uploaded.   I  added additional information to footnote #102 on page 104.

2007-11-20 05:33:29 GMT

Comments (1 total)


Bailey, what you've done is remarkable. Thanks so much for the memories of LaFollette and your mother.
--Charlene Oliver Williams

2007-11-30 00:42:11 GMT


Entry for November 29, 2007

I have added a link for the scanned images of the West End PTA cookbook, ca. 1952, to Caroline's Pages.  On the home page of the cookbook are direct links to the recipe pages for each contributor as well as links to view the book from cover to cover.  Enjoy the memories.

2007-11-30 01:40:25 GMT


Entry for December 19, 2007

Yesterday, I uploaded a minor revision of the annotated "Seventy Years in the Coal Mines".  This included additional and revised information in the footnotes regarding the LEWIS family mentioned on pages 31-33, 96-98, and 104-106.  Also, I revised the descendants of Philip FRANCIS and Rebecca HARRIS to include a recent death and a birth.

2007-12-19 16:44:10 GMT

Entry for January 19, 2008

I have added a page of photographs of a bridge party that my mother hosted ca. 1950 in our living room in Linden Park.  With help from others, I have been able to identify many of the attendees but not all.  Any help with the unnamed individuals will be appreciated as well as correction of any errors.  I was told that the party was a combination of several small bridge clubs in LaFollette.  The photographs can accessed by a link on Caroline's Pages.  The link to Caroline's Pages is on my home page.

2008-01-19 18:14:37 GMT


Entry for February 5, 2008

Today, I added a series of pages dedicated to the June 1967 medical class of the University of Tennessee Medical Units, Memphis, TN.  The pages are linked to my home page.  I will probably add additional material as I am able to obtain it.

2008-02-06 05:32:45 GMT

Entry for February 9, 2008


I want to welcome Dave HIGHTOWER to the SYITCM "family". Dave is a descendant of Nice HIGHTOWER, who was mentioned on page 132 of SYITCM. Dave was kind enough to send me an image of his grandfather, Annanias "Nice" HIGHTOWER that is shown above.

2008-02-09 15:50:29 GMT

Entry for February 12, 2008

I have uploaded a revised version of the annotated SYITCM to include a new footnote (#119) on page 132.  The footnote concerns Annanias "Nice" HIGHTOWER who was mentioned on the page.

2008-02-12 17:57:46 GMT


Entry for March 2, 2008

I have uploaded a newer version of my document, "Who Was Richard Meyrick?" with some additional information.

2008-03-03 04:14:33 GMT

Entry for April 8, 2008

It is with sadness that I post the deaths of John Philip and Doris Juanita (Tallent) COLLETT VAN HUSS.  John (called Philip by the Knoxville branch of the FRANCIS family) died 19 March and Doris 21 March 2008.  At 94, John was the oldest living grandson of Philip FRANCIS and one of two living individuals who were in the 9 January 1925 photograph of the family attending the 50th wedding anniversary of Philip and Annie (Meyrick) FRANCIS at the John W. WILLIAMS' home in Knoxville, TN.  The remaining living individual from that photograph is Mary Buford (Francis) ROSE, widow of Lee Roy Howard ROSE, who lives in Knoxville.   John was an amazing man!  He wrote and compiled historical booklets from his home computer using Microsoft Publisher.  Most of the booklets documented some aspect of the history of coal mining in the general vicinity of LaFollette, TN.  John and I began to exchange family history and genealogical information about 10 years ago.  When I was in LaFollette in 2005, I met with John in his home office behind his house for about 2 hours.  We had a very pleasant and mutually rewarding exchange.  There are typically very few people in most families who have any interest in family history and genealogy.  Most other family members look at you as if you have a hole in your head for devoting so much time to something about which they couldn't care less.  So, John was a breath of fresh air for me, and I shall miss him and our many e-mail exchanges.

2008-04-08 21:10:40 GMT

Comments (1 total)


I had not heard from John for some time and was going to send him an e-mail but decided to visit your site first. I am sad to learn of his and Doris' deaths. Nancy and I visited him in La Follette a number of years ago and that began correspondence that has kept family memories alive for us. John has sent us several of his chronicles and we were grateful for his communications and spirit. Thank you for providing this great storehouse of family history.
--John P Williams, Jr

2008-04-29 20:37:37 GMT


Entry for April 12, 2008


In the early 1950s, the LaFollette Chamber of Commerce published a promotional pamphlet entitled, "LaFollette, Tennessee, Ideal Vacationland". It was compiled and edited by Jim McCloud.  I have scanned images of the pamphlet, and the link to the images is at the bottom of "Caroline's Pages".



2008-04-12 16:28:45 GMT


Entry for July 21, 2008

I would like to thank Charlene (Oliver) WILLIAMS for sending me the following e-mail that I am posting with her permission:

"I was just looking at your site and recognized the name Hightower.  I had a cousin (Anna Oliver daughter of Harvey Pascal "Pete" Oliver)  who married "Nice's" baby son, John (whose mother was Lydia Belle....and isn't it a coincidence that I had an Aunt Lydia Belle Oliver Harris who was from Harlan).  I have some information on the family such as John and Anna's children, but at this time,  that is all I have.  There was more than a generation between cousins, since my father started a second family at age 54."

2008-07-21 18:41:10 GMT


Entry for July 30, 2008

Congratulations to cousin, Frances Jane Seymour, on her marriage to Michael Joseph "Mike" Kopetski, 26 July 2008, in Chapel Hill, NC.  Frances is the daughter of Robert Edward, Jr., and Pearl (Francis) Seymour.

2008-07-30 15:55:01 GMT

Comments (1 total)


John J. Wender, Jr. had a felt covered book written by your Grandfather many years ago. I read it and returned it to John who now lives in Daytona Beach Shores, Fla. The book was fascinating in that when you Grandfather began to write, he didn't stop until he was finished. I'm certain you have seen it. If not, let me know and I ill see if Jhn can locate it. Great pictures. Thanks, Charles M. Wender.
--Charles M. Wender

2008-08-17 18:51:19 GMT


Entry for January 16, 2009

Thanks to input from Betty (Hatmaker) Taylor, LHS '56, I now have the names of the other two boys from one of the photographs in the West LaFollette group.   The photograph is shown at the bottom of the following web page:


Entry for February 9, 2009

Belated congratulations are in order for:

Michele Lyn Partridge and Dr. Eugene "Geno" Yamamoto who were married 23 August 2008 in Las Vegas, NV; and,

Candace Louise Partridge and Steve Capellini who were married 26 December 2008 in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

Michele and Candace are daughters of Sherry Lee (Francis) Partridge Yoder and grandchildren of Phillip M. and Mitzi Francis.

Geno and Steve, welcome to the family tree.

2009-02-09 18:47:17 GMT

Comments (2 total)


I lived in the East part of LaFollette in the early 1950's and my cousin Jerry Poe lived in Indian River village. At least two or three times a week I would ride my bike out there and as I pumped up that long hill from town to where you went into Indian River Village I would offten take a break and walk through the gardens. It was always a magical place for a ten year old.
--Donald Phillips

2009-02-15 04:21:34 GMT


Thank you for your most kind comments, Donald. I remember Jerry Poe very well. That was a long bike ride for a 10 year-old and included climbing two steep hills without having multiple gears as today's bikes have.

2009-02-16 21:20:46 GMT


Entry for March 24, 2009

I have added another page to Caroline's Pages at:


This page shows a photograph of the seven daughters of Alfred DUNCAN and Catherine LEACH of Anderson County, TN.  Talitha Caroline (Duncan) BROWN is my great great grandmother, and her sister, Jane Elizabeth "Betsy" (Duncan) CARDEN, is the great grandmother of third cousin, once removed, Carl Hubert Fritts, Jr.

2009-03-24 22:56:07 GMT

Comments (1 total)


Thanks for posting these great pictures and historical information.
--Carl Fritts

2009-03-28 12:10:15 GMT


Entry for June 6, 2009

Important Announcement for June 6, 2009

I have moved my blog in preparation for moving my website to its new home at:


Yahoo is closing Geocities later this year. My entire website must be moved and/or re-built.
Please bear with me. I am a novice at website development, and I will have to learn to use new web page-building software and transfer the files necessary for the site content.
Thanks for your patience.
You can continue to view the old website pages for a few more months.

2009-06-06 23:17:19 GMT

Entry for June 11, 2009

I have revised "Descendants of Rebecca HARRIS and Philip FRANCIS" and "Seventy Years in the Coal Mines - the Annotated Edition" to show deaths and marriages since the last revision.

2009-06-11 16:29:17 GMT

Comments (1 total)


My heart is broken again!! I was so excited as I skimmed your site. The Francis surname combined with coal mining in Schuylkill , PA,
had me thinking that I had at last found our Francis line. When I slowed down, I saw that Wales and the dates would not fit. John Francis,born 1805 in Ireland to Peter and Bridget, came to the US in mid-1820s. He married, wife died after daughter's birth. He went west through PA, in Schuylkill applied for naturalization, then moved on to southern Indiana, about 15 miles north of Louisville, KY.
The Irish who came here are hard to document.
Thanks for your story.

2009-06-26 07:23:44 GMT