November 15, 1951


This Article Appeared In The Times

But Was Not Actually In Cal’s Column


Transcribed by Rae Wayne




       Below we are giving a letter recently written by Cal to Cpl. William R. Massey, Box C-5, 3321 Student Sqdn., Scott Air Force Base, Ill.  For the information about the family, we are taking the liberty of publishing same in the Times.

Lafayette, Tennessee,

November 12, 1951

Cpl. William R. Massey

Scott Air Force Base, Ill.


Dear Sir:

       Your letter relative to your line of family descent has come to me and contents have been read with interest.  I am sorry that I have but a limited amount of information on your family.  The following is all I have available today, although I am sure that I have quite a lot of other facts and odds and ends of family history of the Masseys.  But it is among my papers and would take too long at this time to find it for you.


       You are descended from William Massey, native of either Orange or Chatham County, North Carolina.  His father, whose name is unknown to the writer, was killed by a jack.  He was largely reared an orphan.  After the death of his father, his mother married John Terry, who once lived on the top of the high hill where uncle John Porter reared his family in later years.  This was on the ridge between Peyton’s and Dixon’s Creeks.  William bought land on Scanty Branch in 1814.  He came from North Carolina by ox cart, his wife and the two oldest children being with him.  His wife was the former Miss Candace Edwards, of North Carolina, her father having been a distiller in that State.  Her mother is thought to have been a Pendergrass.


       The children of William and Candace Massey were:  Abijah, P., Jemima, Sallie Jane, Rebecca, Nancy, Hugh, Will and Brice Massey.  Abijah, who married Judy Coker, moved to Missouri in 1860.  Jemima died young and unmarried.  Sallie, married Tom J. Oldham, and became the mother of:  Hugh, Ben, Sarah, Judy, William and Jane Oldham.


       Jane married William Oldham, a brother of Tom J. Oldham, both being sons of George Oldham and became the mother of: Sam, Celia, Murray, Nancy, Margaret, Candace, Ann, Mima and Jim Oldham.


       Rebecca Massey married John McKinnis, whose descendants I have somewhere among old records but not available at this time.


       Nancy Massey, a deaf mute, who never married so far as I can find.


       Hugh Massey, married Polly McDonald.  Will Massey married Susan Halliburton.  Brice Massey married Lucinda Chitwood.


       Hugh Oldham, son of Sallie Massey and Tommie J. Oldham, married Em Dillehay and became the father of:  Dossie Oldham, married Robert Gregory; Martha Oldham, married Eli J. Cothron; Sam Oldham, married a Merryman; Herbie Oldham, married Florence Gregory; Bud Oldham, married a Cothron; Pole Oldham, married a Gregory; and Quillie Oldham, married Tom Stokes Gregory.


       Ben Oldham, son of Tommie and Sallie, went to Oklahoma, and we have no further record.  Tom Oldham, son of Sallie and Tommie, was killed during the Civil War.  Sarah, a sister of Ben, Hugh and Tom, married Jim Blackwell.  Judy, another sister, married Arch Blackwell.  William Oldham was another son of Tommie and Sallie, but we have no further record.  The other member of the family was Jane, who married a Smith.


       Jane Massey and her husband, William Oldham, the parents of Sam, Celia, Murray, Nancy, Margaret, Candace, Mima and Jim or James Oldham, had the following grandchildren:  Sam Oldham’s wife was Sallie or Chib Gregory, daughter of Tom Gregory and his wife.  Sallie Gregory, Sam and Chib were the parents of:  Will W., Henry, Nelson, Mance, Janie and Nora Oldham.  Celia, married John Shoulders and we have no further record at this time. Murray, no record.  Nancy, married Rufus Beasley and was the mother of:  Pole, George, Cason, Floyd and Sherman Beasley; and three or four girls.  Margaret married Lon Dies and was the mother of Billie Dies.  Candace, married a Richardson, and we have no further record.  Ann, married a Burrie, and we have no further record.  Mima, and here our record ends; and last of all, James, bitten by a rattlesnake many, many years ago on the rocky point above the present home of Richard Towns on Toe Town Branch and died, aged about ten years.


       Hugh Oldham and his wife, Polly, were the parents of: Nancy Lee, married William Halliburton, a brother of Susan Halliburton; Elizabeth and John William Massey, died from diphtheria while young; Margaret, married John Williams; Hailey Massey, believed to have married a Tuck; and Timothy Massey, married a Tuck.


       Brice Massey and his wife, Lucinda Chitwood, were the parents of:  John W. Massey, for many years clerk of Dixon’s Creek Baptist church, and who died some years ago at Riddleton, married a Piper; W. P. Massey, never married; Clemency, married Ben Hawkins Gregory; Henry married Miss Marshall Duncan; and Monroe Massey, married a Towns.  We may here add that Mrs. Henry Massey was the writer’s first teacher, to whom he started to school beginning on Tuesday after the second Monday in Aug., 1898, when we were a boy of seven.


       Brice Massey, the last of the children of William Massey and his wife, Candace Edwards, as our records show, married Lucinda Chitwood and became the father of one daughter, Flora, who married first a Nunley and later a Parker.  She has been dead for only a few years.  The only son was Will I. Massey, who is the grandfather of the party to whom this letter is addressed, Cpl. William R. Massey.


       Just what connection there was, if any, between this Massey family and that of Elder C. B. Massey, 84-year-old Baptist minister of Pleasant Shade, is not known to the writer.  We know that the family to which Elder Massey belongs in from Virginia, Goochland County, we believe.  He is the son of Lon Massey, who died more than 75 years ago.  Another member of the same family was Dick Massey, formerly of upper Dixon’s Creek.


       There is still another branch of the Massey family in the vicinity of Elmwood, but we do not know if there is any connection between it and the two branches above mentioned.  W. H. Massey, a rural carrier out of Elmwood for many years, was a member of this branch.


       If the writer had time, he would be glad to trace the Smith and Trousdale County family back through the centuries, but time is pressing us and we will have to forego this pleasure.


       We hope that the soldier boy will get some little light from this letter.


       Please write us if any point is not clear.  Also we thank you for the outline of your ancestry, which you have sent to us.


       With every good wish, I am

                                                                                  Sincerely yours,

                                                                                  Calvin Gregory