RE: [jacksongenealogy] Hastings,- Shankles
- Several have asked about the Hastings family. My cousin Jim is into
genealogy big time, and he and his wife have visited many of our ancestral
areas. I asked him for a summary of what he had on our grandfather, Fate L.
Hastings. My mother was widowed four months before I was born, so she moved
back home with Fate and Lucy. I knew a lot about him and Lucy by growing up
in their household. For instance, the Mormon web site and many exchanges on
this forum have listed his middle name as Lavon; it was Lavan. Jim talks
about this in the email I had from him this morning.
One question I had for Jim as well as forum members such as Clay: Did the
Jackson-Marshall-DeKalb boundaries shift some time in the 1800s? I see
cemetery locations along with towns that I know from having lived in Jackson
County to be in Jackson County now, but which are frequently listed as
Marshall or DeKalb Counties. My speculation is that county lines were a lot
more fuzzy in the 1800s, and people along the boundaries really had no idea
which county they lived in, or - more likely - really lived in
Jackson(Marshall) and had a Marshall(Jackson) mailing address. Perhaps
someone can enlighten the rest as to when RFD (rural free delivery) came
Following is the text of Jim's email:
Fate was one of thirteen children of James Hastings and Mary Jane Newton.
Lewis 1884 (Your grandfather, Nicole. See ruminations below. Earl note)
Fate Lavan 1886
He is listed as Fate Lavan on his Social Security application. This is also
where I got his mother's maiden name. I'm sure grandmother filled out the
form since Fate couldn't read or write. I have him back through James,
Stephen Jr., Stephen Sr., Joseph, and Henry. Henry is buried in Orange
County, NC, Joseph is buried in Bedford County, TN at Hastings Campgrounds
(Linda and I have been there a couple of times, it is just south of
Shelbyville), Stephen Sr. died in Marshall County, I think Stephen Jr. died
in Jackson County, and his father James is a mystery. I have a picture of
Stephen Jr. that I can email. It is a tiff file and is about 3 megs. I could
convert it to a jpeg is that is too large. Any pictures that you have I
would like to have a scan of them. I have several that I can email to you,
or I can put them on a CD. I would like to do some more work on the Newton
family when I have time. All I know is that Mary Jane's parents were Albert
and Elizabeth Newton and they were living in DeKalb County when she was a
I also think that in cases where spellings are different from those to which
family members are accustomed we should keep in mind that literacy was
limited in the late 1800s in rural areas. Grandpa used to joke that he made
it through school faster than anyone - entered the front door and kicked out
the back. While this was not the way it happened for him, I do know he had
only a couple of weeks of school - hardly enough to learn anything about
reading or writing. He was amazingly good about tracking and analyzing
facts and figures in his mind; I think he would have been a college graduate
in another time. He was proud of the fact that his son and several
grandchildren attended college. Grandma made it through fifth grade at a
time when female children were not given much opportunity to attend school.
I would also speculate that even in family bibles the accuracy in spelling
or exact birthdays was not always there. I have a copy of the record pages
from GGrandfather W. E. Shelton; the spelling is quite entertaining. This
was a society and a time when "book learning" was secondary to a practical
education of running a farming operation. Children had to help out at home
just to raise food for the table. The time period from 1865 to 1945 was
hard because of Reconstruction, then the Great Depression. By the 1930s
soil erosion and worn out soil was causing many Jacksonians to head west;
that is why so many of our forum members live in west Texas and Oklahoma.
TVA brought soil conservation, river control, and fertilizer resulting in a
renewed Tennessee Valley. Now, largely because of TVA, the valley is one of
the lovliest places in the country. I still live in the Tennessee Valley,
now north of Jackson County, but I still get a certain excitement just to
drive through Jackson and its unmatchable beauty.
I will get the pictures Jim references and, if it is OK with him, will
forward to anyone who sends me an email address. etreed@....
Nicole, I have your email, and I know you are interested.