Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Full Circle 23

I featured this photo back in August of 2010, I was contacted by email on January 08, 2011 and I put the photo in the mail shortly after that. 

Tom and Helen Photo Number 297  Tom and Helen Ford

I mailed the photo to Glenny in Virginia, Tom and Helen are her Great Grandparents.  I didn’t hear back for her for quite some time..finally I emailed her!  …now get ready for some real stories..this was a real treat for me to read.


I am so sorry I haven't responded to you!

I received the photo and the family is thrilled! Thank you so much again!

After some discussion with other family members a flood of memories came back of "Mammy". Unfortunately I don't remember "Pappy" myself, but I am told he was a good, hard working man with a great sense of humor . They lived in Cannon County Tennessee their whole lives. The farm they raised their family on was taken over by my Uncle Joe. He built a home for himself and his wife there and the cabin Mammy and Pappy spent their lives in was left the way it was when she passed right down to the rocker she would sit in on the porch to snap beans.

I remember visiting them at the farm and Mammy telling me stories about the mule, strictly to make me laugh ... she thought it amusing that I was so fascinated by the animal. She would also sneak her grand-kids teaspoons of brown sugar as a special treat. They were wonderful people and all of my cousins and siblings now have a copy of this photo and will treasure it.

I believe you are correct in thinking this is the 50th wedding anniversary photo, although my aunt insists it's the 65th ... there is just no way they were able to celebrate their 65th. The amazing thing is that I have a photo of my grandmother and grandfather's 50th (Tom and Helen's daughter and her husband, Mae and Therman Campbell) and they are in the exact same pose as Tom and Helen's with a cake that is very similar. And I am told that the celebration was held in the same building.

I have been working very hard to find out more about this side of the family and have not been able to get any further in the family tree than Tom Ford. I cannot find anyone in the family that can tell me the name of his father. There have been rumors that have circulated through our family as long as I can remember that his father was a brother or cousin of the famed Robert Newton Ford. Robert is the man who shot and killed Jesse James. And there is even a weapon that has been passed down that is rumored to be the gun used in the shooting. I have been able to find nothing at all to prove or disprove any of it. Family has told me that I haven't been able to find anything because the family was ashamed of this particular branch of our family tree. Seems my great grandparents didn't want to be known as relatives to the "coward who shot Mr. Howard".  I know that you have some experience with genealogy work so if you could help me with this, I would greatly appreciate it.

The gun has now been passed down to my son, and I would love to be able to tell him the truth about the story ... my siblings and I think that maybe our father let the rumors run true because he loved the idea of it and told that story of this gun just to impress us and then my son. My father passed away in 2009 and my son was thrilled to have been left this family "treasure".  And I guess, no matter what the truth of it is, it will always be a treasure to him. He is my father's only grandson and loves that my father thought so much of him that he would leave it to him.

Thanks again for this wonderful photo and for everything.

God Bless,



One mystery sometimes leads to another…we will see how this one unfolds.

Thanks for stopping by, do come again:)


  1. That is sure an interesting story. I may need to do some research, though today I am just passing through. Sounds like a wonderful couple!~Abra

  2. Thank you for posting the follow-up on these Full Circle photos. The family history and memories are interesting.

  3. Whoa - keep posting regarding this interesting link.

  4. How wonderful to bring these treasures back to the relatives that will treasure them. I was once in a Cracker Barrel rest. and on the wall was hanging an old oval framed photo of a baby. It was a death picture from the Victorian era. I felt so bad that the poor little guy was hanging over people eating. It had been taken to be loved.

  5. wonderful...I'd say the rumors are very likely true. I'd be honored to have any heirloom from my that German sword my German great-great swiped off an enemy soldier while serving for the US over in Europe during the World Wars

  6. Wow, that was worth the wait wasn't it!

  7. Jesse James memorabilia is known to be fraught with fakes and half truths, unfortunately. While the gun may have been "the gun" it could also be one of the many that James' mother used to sell as "the gun". She did it to earn money, but she definitely used her son's notoriety to her benefit. She also sold guns that "were his" as well. It's an unfortunate fact of Old West memorabilia.

  8. James Thomas Ford was the son of Austin Ford b: 1790 VA d: July 18(4-5?)1 Clark County MO; AND Jane Allison b: 1794 Florida d: October 29, 1858 Clay County, MO.

    Robert Newton Ford was born in 1862, one of many children of James Thomas Ford and Mary Ann Bruin.

    Sarah Jane Ford born Jun 22, 1841 Clark County, Missouri
    George Ann Ford born April 12, 1843 Clark County, Missouri
    Mary Thomas Ford born Jan 31, 1845 in Virginia
    John Thomas Ford born Nov 6, 1846 in Virginia
    Martha Elizabeth Ford born April 22, 1849 in Virginia
    Harriet Washington Ford born Dec 20, 1850 in Virginia
    Elias Ford born July 10, 1852 in Virginia
    Amanda Frances Ford born April 1, 1855 in Virginia
    Charles W. Ford born July 9, 1857 in Virginia
    Wilbur Patrick Ford born Nov 19, 1859 in Virginia
    Robert Newton Ford born Jan. 31, 1862 in Virginia

    it appears that James Thomas Ford and his family probably first moved to Missouri in late 1840 or early 1841 then returned to Virginia around April or May of 1844 and sometime after the birth of Robert Newton Ford in 1862, the family moved to Clay County, Missouri and later moved into Ray County, Missouri. James Thomas Ford and his family are found in Fauquier County, Virginia on the 1850, 1860 and 1870 U.S. Census's.

    Robert Newton Ford and his brother Charles Ford were both members of the Jesse James gang.

    Robert Ford shot and killed Jesse James in the back while Jesse was hanging a picture on April 3, 1882 in Jesse's home at St. Joseph, Missouri. Trying to cash in on the notoriety of being the person who killed Jesse James, Ford bought a saloon in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Ed O'Kelly shot and killed Robert Ford on June 8, 1892 with a shotgun in a saloon Ford owned in Creede, Colorado. Ford was first buried in Colorado, but was later removed to the family plot in Richmond, Missouri. Charlie Ford was an accomplice to the murder of Jesse James. Charles, terminally ill with tuberculosis and addicted to morphine,committed suicide in November of 1882.

    Apparently Robert N. Ford was from Virginia and moved to Missouri as a young boy.

    I haven't found any apparent link between this family and Tom Ford's. Tom was born in Tennesee on 27-December-1881 - obviously, there are a number of Ford's that might of been his father if there is a "brother of" link - George, John, Elias, Wilbur and maybe Charles. or one of James Thomas Ford's brothers (if any and if Tom was a cousin).

    1. I am niece of Tom .. this is a mystery..but a few facts do seem to tie our family into the saga of Jesse James. We have family research which shows Tom's grandfather & his dad were living in the same area of Mo.during the time of the murder of James. Then came to Tennessee. The repetion of names connected to the James saga/era then used in the Ford family in years immediately following are mind boggling.

  9. Authoritative S&W historians Jim Supica and Richard Nahas write, a New Model "#3 was reported as the gun used by Bob Ford to kill Jesse James, its serial number is 3766."

    Supica, Jim, and Nahas, Richard, "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson," Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 1996, p.66.

    The revolver was up for auction in 1993 - Smith & Wesson .44-caliber revolver, Serial No. 3766

    A .44 caliber gun has a opening (or bullet diameter) of 44/100 (a little less than 1/2 an) inch if you care to measure it. The official serial number is located on the bottom of the butt of the frame. Some revolvers also have the serial number located on the inside of the frame, in the yoke area. The "frame" is what holds the revolving drum.

  10. A missing puzzle peice.

    I couldn't find Tom Ford listed in the US Census prior to 1930 so I looked for Helen Ford. Tom is listed as Thomas in 1920 and John T. in 1910 (where Helen is spelled Hellen).

    His full name was John Thomas Ford.

    I will see if I can discover his father's name at lunch hour today.

  11. Aha. after digging through a rats nest of mispellings - I found John Thomas Ford's father.

    First I had to find the SSN death record - and it is:

    FORD, JOHN THOMAS 01-Jun-1884 15-Nov-1969 (Woodbury, Cannon, TN)

    John Thomas is listed in the 1900 US Census as John T Fard. His father is shown as Horance B. and his mother as Lusindia.

    The 1880 US census shows "Horance B Fard" and "Lusindia" as "Horris B." and "Lucinda" living in civil districts 9, 15, Cannon County, Tennessee.

    Horance B. Ford (Tom Ford's father) was born July 1856 in Tennesee. Lucinda was born December 1860, also in Tennesee.

    There is an H B Ford recorded in the 1860 census born in 1833 which may be John Thomas' grandfather.

    There is a family tree for this branch of the family in Ancestry.Com owned by TammyLynnSmithKing which I can't see since I'm not a member.

  12. More on Horace B Ford - from the 1860 US census shows his father and mother as "D. S." and Patience, both of which were born in Tennessee.

    FORD - Post Office Mechanicsville, Tennessee, July 27, 1860
    D. S. 44 M W Farmer Tn M
    Patience 50 F W Tn M
    Mary 20 F W Tn
    Olive 18 F W Tn
    Martha 15 F W Tn S
    Tennessee 12 F W Tn S
    Calidona 10 F W Tn S
    Horace 4 M W Tn <--------------- "H B Ford"

    The line appears to be -
    John Thomas "Tom" -> Horace B. -> D. S. Ford


Hi, Thanks for the comments, your input on these old photos is appreciated! English only please! All comments will be moderated! Connie