William Carter Babb the “1%-er” (correcting the record)

While proofing my work for the upcoming book on the North Carolina Babb Family, I stumbled across a significant error that needed correction. You see, when first transcribing Jean A. Sargent’s Babb Families of America I used the 2nd Edition, which was the only one available to me at the time. I knew that there were some “minor” corrections Jean made for the 3rd Edition, but she had said that 99% was intact. Yesterday, I stumbled across a “1%-er.” Not the kind that “Occupies Wall Street”, but the kind where Jean found and corrected a mistake.

I’ve always been amazed at the continuity of her work. She used no computers, no email, just typewritten letters and the US Mail. Yet, as I entered the data into a modern Genealogy program (Family Tree Maker), I was shocked at how few corrections were needed. As I went back and matched available records, the family units remained largely intact and for most, I have merely expanded the range of her work as I moved it towards modern day.

Yesterday, was an exception…..of sorts. William Carter Babb was listed in the 2nd Edition as (5-6-7-3-3) the son of Green B. Babb. Green’s lineage was itself initially confused with Greenberry and Greenbury Babb, who at first appeared to be the same person. Untangling this can be a mess, which is what happened to me yesterday.

Family Tree Maker was telling me that there was some connection to Phillip of the Isles of Shoals, which I know to be untrue. I had to follow the scent and clicking on each member of this branch of the family to find which had the closest connection. The trail ended at William Carter Babb. He had a second set of parents listed (Stephen Babb & Sarah Morrow) and it looked as though I had merged two people at some point, but I couldn’t be sure. Either way, Stephen isn’t his father, so this was just purely incorrect.

It is at these moments when I turn back to see what Jean had to say on the matter. Pulling the 3rd Edition first, I find William listed amongst the North Carolina Babbs but with a number that places his as a descendant of Phillip Babb of the Isles of Shoals. There is a note from Jean that explains that she initially confused the two and had corrected her mistake. Because indexing back then was extremely tedious she reused the index from Volume two and only could make corrections that would fit on the same page as before.

The numbering system presents a special challenge here as normally, someone’s number, once assigned, always remains the same. Otherwise, people looking up things by number will no longer be able to locate that person in the tree. Plus source files have been named accordingly and it would be chaos trying to move them. But we just can’t leave him in the wrong tree, so something must be done.

I knew this day would come and had a plan in place to deal with it. William and all of his descendants now have two tree numbers. Their old number in the North Carolina tree has been pre-pended with the word “Formerly” and a new entry has been made with the correct number. His parentage has been corrected and he has been reunited as the 5th child of Seth Babb, Jr. & Annie Stonecipher of Greene County, TN. William’s new tree number is 1-2-2-1-4-6-5 and he was no doubt born in the 1787 Seth Babb Homestead as he is buried in the adjacent field.

It is probably not a coincident that both Jean and I made errors on this same person, which I’d like to say makes him a 1% of a 1%.

Why is this change so significant? William is the only child of that marriage to have born children and he had 13 of them! with roughly 50 heirs this is a big change. I’ve updated the master tree and as a new edition of Volume 2: The Tale of Thomas is published, this change will be included. In the meantime, follow the link to see the corrected descendant report for William Carter Babb (1-2-2-1-4-6-5):

Descendants of William Carter Babb



Shaking it up

Seth Babb’s 1787 Homestead, got its new permanent roof last weekend. I have attached what I believe is the first picture ever of the virtually completed exterior. The new cedar shake shingle roof is on. This newly added roof replaces the first one that had been improperly installed, and this one is water tight, and beautifully done. A special thanks to Canjoe John for seeing this through and providing the pictures and supporting info for this post.

With each passing day the checklist grows shorter on the interior. The ceiling and beams are now fully painted. I’ve also included 1800092_537905269676901_687026622365109485_oa view showcasing the newly distressed painted beams with the period Revere Green, which celebrates Seth’s 
celebrated contemporary, Paul Revere. You can see the whitewashed ceiling which provides protection for the wood and a nice contrast. Note that the Interior Wall is still awaiting a partial disassembly to allow for the movement of the farming equipment into the back room. Once the equipment has been moved and the wall reassembled, it will be painted in a lighter shade of green.

The farm equipment can still be seen in the front room near the massive fireplace, which now sports a distressed look. The fireplace was blackened so as to reflect it’s intended age.

10536234_537904673010294_4461912016582304965_oNot pictured, the structure still needs installation of the snow board that will offer the final layer of protection from Mother Nature. Finally, we will be 10679604_537904969676931_2640209068385513906_oplacing a crane on the fireplace that will hold the giant copper pot which previously occupied that space. We will keep plugging away at our checklist, but the end of our journey is near. However, the homestead’s new life is just beginning.



All Done!

Inexplicably, the job that was supposed to take 3 days ended up being completed in 1 day. The ROOF IS FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to Canjoe John for coordinating the whole thing! He has worked tirelessly to help us complete this job. We have a few minor tasks to complete, such as the installation of the Snow Board and some painting. We will be tidying up our loose endings and hope to conclude work shortly.

Next up the Park Board will be working to re-landscape the property and add some stone steps to provide a suitable entrance. I guess we can’t uncork the bottle of champagne just yet….but I might just go buy another bottle for that day. I think this bottle isn’t going to last long.



True Colors

After a pause to honor the late Earl Fletcher, we are starting to pick up the pieces and are working to finish the job he dedicated the last years of his life to. Nine days before his passing we spoke via phone and agreed to the colors of paint to be used on Seth Babb’s Homestead in Greeneville, TN. There was nothing remarkable about the conversation, except that it proved to be our last. A follow up email still sits in my inbox, that I’ve found impossible to delete. His final words to me were thus:


I like the Revere Green and the Briarwood Green.  What is the name of the company that produces this


Thanks for all that you are doing on this project.  I remain…



Executive Director

Babb Homestead Colors

Responding with the name of the paint company I didn’t think much more about it. In those 9 days Earl had already gone and bought the paint. He was ready to start painting the Door/Window Trim himself and worked daily on making preparations.

He signed the message as always saying “I remain”. Earl remains in my mind and he felt in his blood that finishing this homestead was the right thing to do. That spirit pumps through my veins also and we will carry on to finish this most important job. Expect to see work pick back up in the next couple of weeks culminating in the new permanent roof we expect to deliver next month.

To explain the colors a bit more in depth. The lighter green is to be painted on the replacement Interior wall. This will cover the Babb Homestead Colors2remnants of wallpaper that could not be removed and will also serve to lighten the interior. The Door Trim (but not the doors themselves) will be painted the darker green in order to provide an aesthetic appearance to the exterior. These paints are historic reproductions of paint that was available at the time the homestead was built.

These colors will be a tribute to Earl as we set about finishing the job.

New Views of the Chimney

IMG_2889Here are some additional views of the new chimney provided by a different family member who was there shortly after construction. In them you can see the large pile of antique limestone that still remains. It looks as though we will be using it to create stoops for the main and side doors. The door on the far side will remain inaccessible until the landscaping work is complete.IMG_2888

  IMG_2887 Speaking of the landscaping, plans are underway to begin work on it soon.

The Nathanael Greene Museum has placed a video on their website that shows work progressing on the home. Visit their page here: http://nathanaelgreenemuseum.com.

 IMG_2886 IMG_2885 IMG_2884 IMG_2883 IMG_2882 IMG_2881 IMG_2880

Chimney Pictures

As promised, here are some first pictures of the completed chimney at the 1787 Seth Babb Homestead. While it is still clearly a worksite, you can get a good look at it. The stonework is complete and we are awaiting the some finishing touches to the hearth on the inside by the carpenter and blacksmith.

Next steps are to paint the door and window trim and install the final roof. Then inside we need a banister for the stairs (one of our improvements to history) and some steps outside each door.


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Extra! Extra! (Greeneville Sun Article dated July 09, 2014)

Greeneville Sun 2014-07-09 Page 08Greeneville Sun 2014-07-09 Page 01The reconstruction of the Chimney at the 1787 Seth Babb Homestead was picked up by our friends at the Greeneville Sun. I almost overlooked the article after the TV Station picked up the story. But I’m glad someone pointed it out to me. In the picture you can see the Cinder Block structure of the chimney taking shape. It has since been covered in Limestone and is now complete Greeneville Sun 2014-07-09 Page 01on the exterior.

An association member is sending photos of the completed work and I’ll post those as soon as possible. In the meantime, bask in the image and attached story!