Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Monday, June 4, 2012

More of My Feline Genealogy


Click Genealogy Chart to Bigify


On my paternal grandmother's side of my feline family tree, we begin tracing backwards to my Grammy, Sweet Pea Kitty, whose parents were Sugarfoot and Tweetie Pie.  That's as many boxes as this blank genealogical chart has available, but we may continue into the past, if you can imagine box pairs extending backwards along the Sweet Pea Kitty line.  Sort of like nested boxes, only they don't fit inside one another (although I bet they could, if you pushed them a bit).

Sugarfoot's parents were Tiger Paws and Maw Kettlecat.  Then there is a gap in the names along my feline genealogical record--not unusual for us cats, unfortunately--but we have strong evidence that, despite not knowing their names, several generations of this line of my family all lived within a five square mile area that straddles Brown and Madison Townships (Morgan County) a few miles east of Mooresville, Indiana, along what was then known as the Waverly Road (and is now State Road 144).  The closest community "marker" to my "Sweet Pea" ancestral stomping grounds is Five Points, and the Rooker Trace, an ancient settlers' path between Mooresville and Waverly, ran close by.



Early settlers in the area in which many of my
"Sweet Pea" ancestral line worked and lived
from 1829 through the 1890s
(Click to Bigify)
(from Boyd, Gregory A.  Family Maps of Morgan County, Indiana,
Deluxe Edition (Arphax Publ., 2005), pp. 108, 110


Our historical records indicate that, in approximately 1819, the Pennington family settled along the southeast side of what are now known as Pennington and Orchard Roads, but Boyd's maps show this land settled by John Pool in 1825.  My feline ancestors lived and worked on the farms that had been originally settled by  Jesse S. Rooker (1825), the Carpenters (Michael C., John, and Daniel, 1829-1835), Thomas Gregory (1834), and Carlton Grisham (1826).  My "Sweet Pea" lineage ancestors lived in this area for over half a century.  One of these relatives moved to downtown Mooresville in 1877 (more about that, right now, in fact).

In 1877, Jesse S. Rooker's son, Samuel Moore Rooker, who was the first baby born in Mooresville, constructed his home (to replace one that had burned down) along West Harrison Street near downtown (everything was near downtown in those days).  The house still stands at its original location.  In 1877, "Captain" Rooker, as he was known from his Civil War service, had taken Abooksigun (Algonquin for wildcat) (1872-1881), a descendant of Queen Rebekah, one of his father's cats (see more below), from the family farm (near Five Points) to his newly rebuilt house in town.  Several of my "Sweet Pea" ancestry line (from 1877 to the present) have lived in the West Mooresville area.  It's where I call home, much of the time.  I also frequently visit my feline pioneers' "near Five Points" settlements.

Samuel Moore Rooker's new house (1877) with Abooksigun,
his loyal kitty, standing just inside the gate (not visible in this photo)
(from Morgan County Scrapbook, Vol. I [B. Hardin, ed., 1985], p. 285)

Rooker House (2009), formerly owned by
Samuel Moore Rooker's granddaughter,
Helen York Cook & her husband, Claire Cook

Abooksigun's ancestor, Queen Rebekah (1826-1840), was given in 1829 to Jesse S. Rooker as a gift from Samuel Moore, founder of Mooresville, Indiana.  Queen Rebekah was a female "mouser" who had earned a reputation for clearing rodents from grain storage buildings.  Her grandfather, Hippolyte (1817-1828), travelled with the Moore family from North Carolina when they migrated to Indiana (in 1819), and (in 1822) Hippolyte accompanied Samuel Moore when he moved to Brown Township in Morgan County.  Mooresville was founded in 1824.  Hippolyte, then, could be considered a "founding feline" of my hometown.

We have no artist renderings of Hippolyte, but we do have a reenactor photo showing my feline pioneer ancestor.

Reenactor photo of Hippolyte, my feline pioneer ancestor, as
Hippolyte may have looked on the Moore family's northern migration
to and within Indiana (1819-1822)

Who said feline genealogy was any easier than it is for people?



Proud to Have Pioneer Roots,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Genealogical News Beat


P.S.  My Library's book trailer for Pioneer Cat (1988), by William H. Hooks and Charles Robinson (illustrator), includes the coonskin capped feline photo above.  The book is available in our online Evergreen Indiana catalog.



P.P.S.  Family legend says that Hippolyte was an all-grey kitty, like the pioneer cat above.  This reminded moi of "Grey Sky Eyes," by Carbon Leaf, from the group's debut album, Indian Summer (2004).


1 comment:

  1. Documents show Jesse S. Rooker settled in the area before 1825. Between 1819-1823 is when he and wife joined Methodist classes there.

    A biography of Capt. Samuel Moore Rooker written about him at the time: "August 13, 1862, he entered the service of the United States as Captain of Company E., Twelfth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and five months later was compelled to resign due to physical disability. Though out a short time, he saw considerable real service, participating in the battle of Richmond, Ky, and any number of skirmishes. Returning from the war, he engaged in the mercantile business at Mooresville, from which he retired in about a year and built the Magnolia Mills, and conducted them 12-13 years. He bought and sold over 4,500 acres of valuable lands in Brown Township; dealt extensively in grain, and was active in business. The panic of 1875-76 cost him over $20,000, and in November, 1881, his residence in Mooresville was completely destroyed by fire. So, with all, Capt. Rooker has had his share of the ups and downs of life, and still rides the waves. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church; high up in the order of Odd Fellows; a Democrat in politics; a farmer by occupation, and takes life easy in his splended residence into which he has just moved." ------------------- findagrave.com has a large write up.]

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