Thomas Jefferson Neal was born March 29th, 1817 in Ironton, Lawrence County, Ohio. Thomas was one of eleven children born to Walter Neal, Jr. and Deborah Arnot (my 3x Great-Grandparents). The family moved from Lawrence County to Gallia County, Ohio while he was still a child. His mother died when he was twenty-six years old and his father remarried. His step-mother was Elizabeth (Griffith) Lanthorn. His father and stepmother had three more children.

On 26th of January, 1837 (Thomas was twenty years old) he married Belinda Allison, my 2x maternal Great-Grandmother. Belinda was the daughter of John Allison and Rebecca Carter; my 3x maternal Great-Grandparents. Belinda was born in Walnut Township, Gallia County, Ohio.

Thomas and his wife, Belinda had eleven children, five girls and six boys. All but one of their children lived to adulthood. Belinda died in 1896 and Thomas married a widow named Jemimma (Erwin) Hamilton. Jemimma died in 1908.

The celebration of the 100th birthday for Thomas Neal was a very large affair. I have a picture taken by the Newspaper of people attending and it is a treasure trove of relatives pictured there.

He was interviewed by a reporter and was asked what advice he would give boys: “The first advice I would give a boy is to join church and live right. Next, live sober and don’t use liquor or tobacco in any form…I never drank liquor in my life and I have always voted dry. I expect to live yet to see the country dry”.

 Thomas Neal died just days before his 101st birthday;



Warren Albion Pace was born October 19, 1834 in Effingham County, Georgia. This man is not a blood relative of mine, but that has never kept me from a good story. My great-Aunt, Ora Odessa Whetsel (sister to my Grandma-Orella Ortega Whetsel) was married to James Goodlow Pace and Warren Albion Pace was James father.

In 1860, Warren Pace married Mary Elizabeth Drummon. They had one child, a girl named Cora. At the start of the Civil War, Warren took his wife and child to the Savannah, Georgia area to stay with his family. He joined the 7thGeorgia Confederate Calvary in May of 1862. On June 24, 1864 he was hit by a mini ball that shattered his left elbow. In September of that year, he was in Salem Church, Virginia and told to return home. They could not afford to let him take a horse, so he took off on foot to return to Savannah. He had to go through Sherman’s lines. There was nothing left when he reached his family. Everything was gone! They had no food! Mary and Cora were in poor condition.

Warren then commenced to walk about 150 miles to Hawthorne, Florida, where Mary’s family lived. He would get a mule and cart. When he returned to Savannah, he put Mary and Cora on the cart and he walked them back to her parents’ home. Cora was small and always frail for the remainder of her days, but Mary died the same week they arrived at her parents. The death record says she died from consumption, but the family said starvation. This all is so sad, but it was also a new beginning as the War had ended.

In 1866 Warren married a widow named Henrietta (Fossell) Evans and they raised a family of ten children. Warren Albion Pace died in 1932. He was one month from his ninety-eighth birthday.


According to census records, Susan McCarty said she was born in Pennsylvania. She also said her parents were born there as well. Susan was born in February 1838. Susan McCarty was my maternal 2x Great Grandmother.

I found Susan in the 1850 census as a twelve-year-old in Scioto County, Ohio. She was living with her brother, James McCarty. I do not know her parents or their fate, fortune nor their names.

Susan McCarty was first married to Harrison Imes. They married in 1853.

In the 1860 census for Lawrence County, Ohio, Susan and Harrison have two boys, George and Frank. They were expecting a third child when Harrison left for the Civil War in 1861. Within three months Harrison was dead. Just two weeks after his death, Susan gave birth to their third child. This time a girl was born, Mary Alice Imes. It was November 1861. Here she was, 23 years old with three little children and she was a widow.

In August of 1862 Susan McCarty married Joseph Buffington in Vinton County, Ohio. Together they would have three more children, all boys.  The first of these boys to be born was my Great Grandfather, William Sherman Buffington. I will write more about him at a later time.

In the 1870 census Susan is with the Imes and Buffington children in Jackson County, Ohio. Joseph is not counted with this family.

Joseph Buffington was born in March 1835. Like Susan, I do not know who his parents were.  Joseph Buffington was born in Virginia.  I have found two Joseph Buffington’s enlisted in the Civil War records that could be a possible match, but with limited information on him, I can’t identify a record as his.

Joseph Buffington married Susan McCarty Imes on the 27th of August, 1862. Joseph was on the marriage record as well as the birth and death records of his children; Stephen Edward Buffington, Hiram Buffington and William Sherman Buffington; but I was unable to find him  on a census record.

Joseph was dead by 1880, when Susan was listed as a widow in the 1880 census for Elizabeth, Lawrence County, Ohio. William (my Great-Grandfather) was fifteen years old and working as a laborer. The oldest boy (George Imes) was no longer living with this family. There were five children listed plus a baby named Myrtie. Myrtie was the child of Mary Imes (daughter of Susan McCarty and Harrison Imes).

In 1900 census Susan (McCarty) Buffington was in Scioto County, Ohio with Frank Imes. Frank was one of the sons she had before she married Joseph Buffington. I have not been able to find a death certificate or cemetery record for Susan, but obviously she died sometime after 1900.

I will end this story, just as I titled it, A Genealogist’s work is never done.