("You'll never be a man, George. You'll always be just a little boy.")

Show All Stories

My ggmother Nancy Emeline Mitchell Fulks

Post Nancy's Image Here

Born 1842 and deceased 1911, the wife of Henry Andrew Jackson Fulks II was Nancy Emeline Mitchell Fulks. Buried beside her husband in the Fulks Family Cemetary near Star Lime Works, Kentucky and Birmingham, I've visited her grave many times. Daughter of David Mitchell and Matilda Higgins, she bore several children and endured the hard life of a pioneer woman. According to the research of a Henry Benjamin Fulks, Nancy Emeline Mitchell was born in South Carolina on 5-1-1842. This researcher intends to include some of the details of her life. ("I was a good mother," she says. "Will you include me in your work?")


The Native-American Link

A possible link may exist between the Iroquois and Cherokee tribes in association with the surname Fulks. Though not of common historical knowledge, this family researcher suggests that not all children of the European Fulks/Abbott/Pinegar descendants may have been their own. Suggested is that certain Mothers and Fathers of children trapped within "The Trail of Tears" starved for reason that all food available was given to their children so that their descendants would survive. Those native-American parents may have succumbed to the hardships encountered along the treacherous journey to reservations in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Certain native-American children may have been adopted by the Fulks/Abbotts/Pinegars and used as servants. Grandfather Mattie Mandard Fulks resembles a Cherokee. My father, Rummage Ira Fulks, displays a nose and face of a Cherokee. My mother Ella Belle Abbott Fulks wore the deskmask of a Cherokee Chief mono-gramed onto a sweatshirt I have.(Strange things occurred on the day of my mother's funeral.) Aunt Wilmus Avel Fulks is standing between two Iroquois in my 1940's photo of Ferguson Springs students, Trigg County, Kentucky. A small Iroquois also stands in the front row of that same photo, and he said to me: "My father hates the white men here. He would kill you if he could". Mosie Hubbard and Harvey resemble Cherokees. Bruce Abbott, his wife, May Shay, and Jimmy would have passed for Cherokee. I need more research on this topic.


Finding information on David Mitchell, Nancy Emeline's father, is difficult. I suspect that David may have been a soldier during the War Between the French and Indians or the War of 1812. He would have attained the appropriate age during those times. Mention is also made of a David Mitchell and Company; suggesting that he may have been involved in the sale and transportation of farm implements such as plow and disks; or even harness for horses.

Determined is that one result of the conflict between Union and Confederate forces from 1861-65 is that many courthouses in Western Kentucky were burned with many court records destroyed. Entering Kentucky frequently, two groups of mauraders terrorized the cities and countryside. From the North were Morgan's Mauraders, and from the South were Merrials; all outlaws. Their continuous loyalty to either Union or Confederacy are questionable.

Especially interesting to note is that Confederate General Bedford Forest and his units were active in Kentucky. A wealthy Mississippi plantation owner, General Forest raised his own army and paid his soldiers for their service. General Robert E. Lee considered Bedford Forest his best military leader.

Nancy's mother was an offspring of a man whose surname was Higgins. The Higgins were all mechanically inclined. A man by the name of Higgins constructed the WWII troop landingcraft that is labeled with his name- "the Higgins". He became quite wealthy in that manner.

The Fulks born after Henry Andrew Jackson Fulks II were all musically, artisticly, and mechanically inclined. Those attributes were surely inherited from the Mitchells and Higgins.As a child, my bicycle was a J.C. Higgins- a good one.

Some details of Nancy's life are certain. As a pioneer woman born during 1842, Ggmother Nancy Emeline Mitchell, lived during times requiring hard labor from women married to farming husbands. She manufactured her own lye soap, churned milk into butter, made cheese, washed clothing in an iron pot, and ironed with a fireheated chunk of metal. She gave birth to several children at home, and they were healthy. That many children and a farmer husband surely must have contributed to high blood pressure; for which no medication was available for treatment. The days were labor from daylight past darkness. Tradition in Western Kentucky was for women to milk the cows, and that's hard work.


Daddy Promised Angels

George Harold Fulks/January 29, 2010

October, 1910

Henry and Nancy's children are listed under Martha's Work

"I thank the Lord for all the blessing he's bestowed on us," Henry said. " We've got the crop in for another year, and it was a good one. We have a little money. I sold the tobacco for a good price. It was hard this time with all the youn-uns gone, but the corn's in the crib, hay's in the barn, cannin' and hams are done, and there's enough batten to make the quilts to keep us warm. We have the chickens, the hogs, and cattle; and what we need to feed them. I guess we'll both survive. It's been a good year for farming. The Lord's done that every year since we've been here. I sure sure do thank you, Lord."

"Tomorrow is Saturday, October 16, 1910 in the year of our Lord. There'll be a man taking pictures down at Higgins store in Birmingham. If it's alright with you, Nancy Emeline, me and you will hitch-up the horse and wagon and go down there to have our pictures made. We want to be sure to show our kinfolks in the future how pretty we were. I don't know whether we'll live to make another crop or not. I'm not too healthy, and neither are you. I'm all wore out. I'm too old to work as hard as I do".

"I'm not all that wore out, Henry, but I sure feel old," Nancy retorted. "I just hate to know that we worked so hard and are still poor. You and me ought to be worth a million dollars, and we ought to be living in a mansion".

"You will someday," replied Henry. You'll be in a mansion, but not here. I built a small house out of logs that I cut with a broadax. If I'd made a mansion here, somebody would have burnt it down. Far as a mansion goes, the bible says it. You're a fine woman, and you'll have it. Our Lord Jesus said it, and you and I believe it. In my father's house are many mansions".


Such a conversation must surely have occurred between Farmer Henry Andrew Jackson Fulks II and Nancy Emeline Mitchell Fulks on that October day during 1910; almost one-hundred years ago today. The pictures we have to share show that they and their sons met with a photographer in Birmington, Kentucky; having pictures made of themselves. All their boys were photographed and placed on a large piece of cardboard.

"I've asked all our boys to be there too," Henry added. "They promised me they'd be there. I want a group picture made of all of them together. The girls can't get here. They're married to different people and scattered all over the country. I've not even seen some of them for a year."


Making a stop at my father and mother's home near Swanee, Kentucky, it was during the 1970's. I, George Harold Fulks, their son, was a teacher and residing in Illinois with a wife and family. I'd left them on the William and Judy Hunter Barnes farm which was off a road between Salem and Marion, Kentucky. I, George, had misbehaved during my visit. During Christmas, all the children's gifts were neatly stacked beneath that year's decorated tree. There were also gifts for my wife and me. Having awakened at 1:00 A.M. on Christmas Day, the temptation was too much for me. I opened all the Christmas gifts as the others were sleeping. Forced to runaway, I wound-up at my parent's home and later- the Family Cemetary.

After conversation and lunch, Rummage Ira Fulks, my father, gave me directions to the Henry Andrew Jackson Fulks II and Nancy Emeline Mitchell Fulks homesite and the Fulks Family Cemetary. "You'll see a sign that says Sugar Bay," Dad said. "Don't turn right there. Go to the very next road that turns right. That road will take you across Duncan Creek. It's at least five miles from the turnoff now. After you've crossed at Duncab Creek, drive on to the very top of a hill. From the right hill, you'll be able to see Kentucky Lake. Stop your car right there. The family cemetary's up a hill on the right, and my Grand-daddy Henry's house was on the left. It's gone now, but the land is still farmed by someone whose leased it from the TVA. There's still a single cedar tree there.

Enroute, I sighted the Pinegar Cemetary; stopping to catch breezes emerging from surrounding forests- turbulances, some gentle and others more profound. If those were spirits of people long-deceased, they were present just to sense their visitor; to do no harm. Those wind frisked me, touched me and brushed gentle fingers across my face. Those spirits were comforting and reassuring.Someday I'll also be here, I thought.

Scattered among those gravestones were people whose name's I'd heard- a civil war soldier; an infant or child. There was the grave of Cousin Hugh Fulks; Pvt. U.S. Army Infantry- killed in World War I(1918).

In the vicinity, perhaps on a sideroad, was Newby Cemetary, but I didn't find it.

This site is supported by Jennifer Parish