We have learned much about our Knight line, and much about the process of genealogy, from Laura Knight Jadczyk. Her website Once a Knight is Enough, Knight Genealogy reflects over two decades of research of her Knight line, back to our shared ancestry in the Knights of Colonial Virginia.
As we climb our tree back through Colonial America, things get murky. Records are sparse. Families were large, and, they, well, they ran out of given names. Jr. was attached to a young adult male to distinguish him from his uncle, so Jr. does not share his given name with his father. The given name of a deceased child was given to a sibling born later. Records were lost, or destroyed—though not as often as we pretend. And they moved a lot.
The life of a relative in that era may now only be reflected in a single reference, in a original record that has not been microfiched, and digitally scanned—it is not on-line.
Laura demonstrates the benefit—no, the necessity—of looking at every record for a surname of interest, and the records of their Allied families, to make headway in Colonial America.
After our recent focus on the Irish lines of our Watne branch—Porter, Gallagher, Walker, Hannah, Virtue—it is time to tackle our direct paternal line, Spratlin(g). As with our Knight line, we are headed back to Colonial Virginia.
The early part of 2020 was devoted to finding Alpheus Adam’s maternal line using a combination of genetic genealogy and old-fashion research into the history of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada and the United States. And 2020 closes as we found possible parents for Andrew Porter Sr. in County Donegal, Ireland.
Milton Thomas Spratlin, 87, of Toccoa, Georgia, passed away Thursday, November 5, 2020, after several years of declining health. He was born August 13, 1933, in Clarke County, Georgia, to parents Charles Spratlin and Goldie Christian Spratlin.
He graduated from Athens High School in 1950, and graduated with a BBA from the University of Georgia in 1954, receiving an Army Officer commission at that time. He served in the US Army as a Recon Platoon leader in the 61st Tank Battalion, 9th Infantry, in Germany.
After military service, he was first employed by the Georgia Railroad Bank & Trust Company in Augusta, Georgia. In August 1961, he joined the Bank of Toccoa, and served in the positions of Assistant Vice President, Cashier, Executive Vice President, President, and Director. He retired from there in December 1998.
He held leadership positions in many professional and civic organizations including the Stephens County Jaycees, Stephens County Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Bankers Association, Toccoa Housing Authority, City of Toccoa Personnel Advisory Board, Stephens County Board of Tax Accessors, Stephens County United Way Fund, Stephens County Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, Camp Fire Girls of America, and Stephens County Historical Society. He was a member of the Toccoa First United Methodist Church.
He was married for 46 years to Jacqueline (Jackie) Knight of Augusta, Georgia, and after her death in 2007, he married Darlene Millard, who passed away 5 months later.
He is survived by his sister-in-law Kathryn Cofer Spratlin, wife of brother John; brother-in-law Charles Lester, husband of sister Faye; and friend Maxine Felts.
He is survived by a son, three daughters, their spouses, and their 9 grandchildren: Ken, wife Lisa Wetherbee, and their son Matthew, of Boulder, Colorado; Sandra, sons Richard and Cameron, husband Andy Adams, and sons Drew and Hayden, of Edmond, Oklahoma; Susan, husband Ed Carman, and their son Forrest, of Toccoa; and Cynthia, her husband Dr. Cyril Halbert, and their sons Braeden and Ashton, and daughter Keira, of Las Vegas, Nevada.
He is preceded in death by his sister Evelyn Spratlin Flanagan, and her husband Clarence Flanagan; brother John Spratlin; brother Donald Spratlin; sister Faye Spratlin Smith Lester, and her husband Ferman Smith III.
An outdoor visitation and funeral service will be held at Roselane Cemetery, 1033 Rose Lane, Toccoa, on Sunday November 8, 2020. The visitation is from 2:00-3:45 pm, with the service following at 4:00 pm, the Reverend Brent White and Mr. Brent Ware officiating.
Military Honors will be provided by the United States Army.
The family will have a private burial immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, Milton would hope that you will volunteer time or donate to a community civic or youth organization. A donation to the Currahee Military Museum, 160 Alexander St., Toccoa, GA 30577, would support one of his passions.
Milton Thomas Spratlin (1933–2020) is grandfather of MKS in the Spratlin branch.
References:  KMS Family Genealogy Digital Archive, Jacqueline Anne Knight Spratlin collection (photograph).
By a curious quirk of human nature, rather than Mother Nature, every American family of the surname Washington is related to George, all Adamses are of the family of John Quincy, and all Jeffersons are cousins of Thomas—at least as far as family traditions are concerned.
Nancy Frances Jolly was born in South Carolina on 14 Apr 1811. On 20 Jan 1831, she was apparently living in Franklin County, Georgia, and married Dudley Jones Chandler, also of Franklin County.
By 1840, they removed to Pocataligo, Madison County, Georgia, where they resided for the remainder of their lives.
According to a newspaper article published in The Constitution marking Dudley’s 90th birthday, they had sixteen children. 
Nancy and Dudley are interred at the McGinnis Cemetery in Madison County, Georgia.
T. J. Allen, the photographer of this portrait, arrived in Harmony Grove, now Commerce, Jackson County, Georgia, in about 1889, and was the principal photographer there for thirty years. 
Nancy Frances Jolly (1811–1887) is 5th great-grandmother of MKS in the Spratlin branch.
Dudley Jones Chandler (1809–1905) is 5th great-grandfather of MKS in the Spratlin branch.
References:  Ancestry.com member Leita Cowart (photograph).  “His Ninetieth Birthday,” The Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia), 13 Aug 1899, p. 4.  History of Harmony Grove-Commerce, Chapter 20, The USGenWeb Archives Project.
Our tree on the Christian (Spratlin maternal) branch is broad and deep, seven or eight generations deep on every line, except for a single, late brick wall—the father of Anna Belle Foster.
Anna Belle Foster, likely born 3 Mar 1882 in Clarke County, Georgia, is the daughter of Eliza E. Bray, and the 2nd great-grandmother of MKS.
Eliza E. Bray married Juan F. Foster on 3 Sep 1874 in Clarke County, Georgia. We have only found five records that closely bracket Anna Belle’s birth and shed light on Eliza’s family:
1874 marriage license and marriage record for Juan and Eliza
1880 US Census for Juan and Eliza
Property Tax Digest for Danielsville, Madison County, Georgia, 1878–1882, for Juan
1900 US Census for Eliza
1910 US Census for Eliza
Eliza had three daughters: Rosa Foster, Harriet Foster, and Anna Belle Foster. Rosa and Harriet predeceased Eliza, who died on 4 Mar 1919.
In the 1880 US Census for Athens, Clarke County, Georgia, Juan is listed with Eliza, Rosa, and Eliza’s niece Cornelia E. Bray. Juan is listed as age 25, birthplace Georgia. That Anna Belle is not listed supports that she was indeed born after 1880.
Eliza and Juan apparently divorced before 1900, and Eliza then married William Jasper Bradberry after 1900 and before 1910.
Juan F. Foster—that is not a typical Southern name of that era. But his name is spelled that way clearly and consistently in the three records that list him. We have been unable to find any records for Juan prior to 1874.
With the dearth of records for Eliza’s family, the loss of the 1890 US Census (Fire!) is particularly detrimental to our research.
So here is the real problem. We have DNA kits for a grandson and several great-grandchildren of Anna Belle, making them a great-grandson and several 2nd great-grandchildren of Eliza, and presumably Juan. There may be no other records for Juan, but we should be able to find some DNA matches for these kits through Juan’s ancestors.
The probability Anne Belle’s grandson shares a DNA segment with someone that is an actual cousin through a common ancestor in Juan’s line is:
Match Relationship to Grandson
Juan and Eliza
Unless Juan is from a multi-generational line of only children, far from the norm of around eight children per family, we’d expect to find many DNA matches through Juan’s ancestors back through at least his great-grandparents. We don’t.
Here is what we do find for Anna Belle’s grandson’s DNA matches.
We clearly see large clusters for three of the four sets of great-grandparents—Spratlin-Crow, O’Kelly-Chandler, and Christian-Moore. And we see two small clusters in the lower right—Bray and Guest.
Guest? Who is Guest? As we lower the cM threshold and look at matches through more distant common ancestors, we find many more Guest matches, many with trees containing a Guest line extending back several generations before our time period of interest. By looking for shared matches through the spouses in this Guest line, we quickly develop a hypothesis for the parents of Anna Belle’s father—Sanford Guest and Frances Salina Stone.
We have at least 7 shared matches through Sanford and Frances, all with shared DNA amounts consistent with the hypothesis. We also have at least 20 shared matches through his parents and grandparents, and 32 through her parents and grandparents.
Eliza, age 23, lived with her parents in 1870 in Militia District 6, Banks County, Georgia, served by the Phi Delta Post Office.
In 1870, Sanford, Frances, two daughters, four sons, and another male Guest, age 17, of unknown relationship, lived in Washington, Banks County, served by the Nails Creek Post Office.
Sanford and Frances had five sons, born between 1846 and 1859. The first son apparently died before 1860. The other four all lived beyond 1920. It is likely one of these four is the father of Anna Belle.
The records and available DNA kits do not tell us any more at this point.
Anna Belle Foster (1882–1952) is 2nd great-grandmother of MKS in the Spratlin branch.
Eliza E. Bray (1846–1919) is mother of Anna Belle Foster, and 3rd great-grandmother of MKS in the Spratlin branch.
Juan F. Foster (1856–unk) is husband of Eliza E. Bray.
Sanford Guest (1818–1896) and Frances Salina Stone (1820–1897) are likely grandparents of Anna Belle Foster, and 4th great-grandparents of MKS in the Spratlin branch.
William Jasper Bradberry (1849–1930) is husband of Eliza E. Bray.
As our genealogy skills have developed, particularly over the last year, we are more often documenting our level of confidence in the facts and events we add to our family tree, or discuss in our posts here or in other documents we author.
There are many terms we could use to express our level of confidence, and many schemes to rank these terms relative to each other. No point in reinventing the wheel, though.
After purchasing a copy of Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence Explained , we chose to adopt the hierarchy of terms presented there in Section 1.6 Levels of Confidence.
Certainly: The author has no reasonable doubt about the assertion, based upon sound research and good evidence.
Probably: The author feels the assertion is more likely than not, based upon sound research and good evidence.
Likely: The author feels some evidence supports the assertion, but the assertion is far from proved.
Possibly: The author feels the odds weight at least slightly in favor of the assertion.
Apparently: The author has formed an impression or presumption, typically based upon common experience, but has not tested the matter.
Perhaps: The author suggests that an idea is plausible, although it remains to be tested.
Being more mathematically and visually inclined, here is how we tend to apply these terms in our own use.
We usually keep possibly and apparently to ourselves until we have done a little more research.
When we estimate an individual’s birth year, based on a parent’s, spouse’s, or child’s birth year, we indicate this with, for example, “Estimate based on her mother’s Birth.”
We assume the mother is 3 years younger than the father, and the mother is 22, 31, and 40 years old at the birth of their first, middle, and last child. These average ages were found in a reference that we unfortunately failed to record at the time. The reference though was for 1600–1900 America when the economy was largely agriculture-based.
And, if we copy something from someone else’s tree to preserve it until we have time to look at it, we now attach a source entitled “(copied from the internet; no source provided)”—copy these at your own risk!
References:  Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained, Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, Third Edition, Revised (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2017), 19-20.