Bill Carr's




Sometimes that's nice to know.


Genealogy is becoming more and more popular with many, at least in part because of the disintegration of family and community cohesion due to our modern mobile life-style.
     The TV entertainment era has preempted the oral histories of families that were once commonly imparted to the younger generations around the dining table, before the living room fireplace or stove, and on the old porch swing.
     Because today's children are far too distracted to listen to the stories of parents and grandparents, many of us "old folks" (or those of us too quickly becoming the old folks), wish to leave them a written record to tell them just "who they are" and from whence they came something that may interest some of them later in their lives. And, because many of us failed to listen to the old folks when we had the opportunity, many of us are only now finding out a great deal more about who we are.

     Another phenomenon that is driving an increased interest in genealogy is the increasing toll that multiculturalism is taking on our national ethnic identity. As our nation loses its once rather distinct racial identity and cohesion, there is a renewal of "tribal" identities and loyalties, as opposed to racial loyalties. While it is no longer politically correct for many of us to have or display racial pride, we are rediscovering "tribal" pride, or in interest in family lineage, in order to pass on to future generations something that is passing from the national scene.


This webmaster is neither historian nor genealogical researcher. Most of the information on these genealogy pages is the work of others more dedicated, and better equipped, to undertake the work necessary to compile family histories and genealogical information. My purpose is to gather in what I can into one place for all who are related or otherwise interested in these family lines. I extend my heartfelt thanks to all who have contributed to this site and the various individual pages featured.
     The photo of Anson and Isaiah Gurley, above, was taken by J.S. Seymour & Son, of Stonefort, Illinois. Anson and Isaiah were brothers, and both fought in the Civil War. They had another brother, named Raford. Isaiah was my great, great, great grandfather. I have little genealogical information on the Gurley branch of the family, but have started a page in hopes of attracting more information. See:

Gurleys of Southern Illinois

The branches I currently have the most data on are the Camden, Potts, Goodman, and Grace branches.

Family of Camden - A Genealogy

One of my favorite ancestors is my great, great, aunt "Babe" Sarah Elizabeth (Camden) Tidwell. Read about her and her family in The Battle of Camden, the only Civil War Action Fought in Johnson County Illinois.

The Lawrence family of Reynoldsburg, in Johnson County, Illinois is not actually part of my genealogical line, but is of interest to me. It might be said to be "related" to my family through the famous Lawrence/Camden feud, known as the "Battle of Camden", as well as the marriage that finally put the feud to rest. The Lawrence genealogical page was compiled and contributed by Bob Garrett, in collaboration with Steve Lawrence, and Bob and Barbara Lawrence.

The Lawrence family
The Descendants of Henry Grandison Lawrence of Reynoldburg

My maternal grandfather, Albert Goodman, of Gaskins City, died a year before I was born, and I knew very little of his family history until I met cousin Clyde Goodman of Cobden, Illinois, and his wife Carol. They have taken on the task of Researching Clyde's roots. It is a work in progress, and these pages continue to grow. Albert Goodman was married to Ruth Grace. Carol Goodman is building a genealogy of both the Goodman and Grace sides of the family. The Goodman genealogy includes Clyde's other main branch the Siffords. 

The Siffords and Goodmans of Southern Illinois

The Grace Family of Southern Illinois
Including Edwards, Hiett, and Other Surnames


If one cannot find kings, princes, and presidents in his family tree, perhaps an outlaw or two will do. One of the more interesting twigs on my family tree is that of my several times great-uncle, Isaiah Luna Potts, and his wife Polly Blue. They were among Illinois' earliest settlers during the notorious outlaw years in the region of Cave-in-Rock and operated a Tavern which has become the subject of a famous local legend. The legend refers to him as "Billy Potts." 

The Legend of Billy Potts

True Story of my Enigmatic Uncle Isaiah L. Potts

Isaiah Luna Potts' Genealogy

Polly Blue's Genealogy

Isaiah's middle name is usually rendered Luna. He had a nephew, also named Isaiah, whose middle name is usually given as Luney. These are believed to be variations of the surname Looney used for a middle name. Luna, however, may have also been Isaiah's mother's (Elizabeth Looney), middle name. The Looney's are rather far removed (Elizabeth being a g.g.g.g.grandmother), and are included here due to their close connection to Isaiah Luna Potts.

The Looneys of our Past

My apologies to the Potts, Blue, and Looney families for including their genealogies in connection to an obscure and uncharacteristic (alleged), cutthroat. That cutthroat was one in ten thousand or more, and he may not have really been a cutthroat at all. Each of these families have very distinguished histories and many highly successful members. For example, John Potts, the famous Pennsylvania ironmaster and founder of Pottstown. The Potts family can also boast of presidents and first ladies in its family tree from association with George Washington down to distant kinship with Theodore Roosevelt and FDR's famous wife Eleanor. The Blues distinguished themselves in military affairs. Uriah Blue fought with Andrew Jackson and Davie Crockett in the Creek Indian Wars. The Looneys helped open up western Virginia and Tennessee to settlement, and pioneered on westward to Texas. All were hearty pioneer families, with whom anybody could be proud to be associated.

If you're from Southern Illinois, particularly from around Harrisburg, you've probably got some kin folk who can spin a yarn about Charlie Birger. If you actually have some gangster associations to brag of, all the better. My family, on both paternal and maternal sides, had a few such yarns to tell or not tell.

Birger Gang Associations

What happens when a bunch of young idealists attempt to bring education to the Southern Illinois hill country? This isn't genealogy, but simply an interesting historical note on the webmaster's section of Southern Illinois. Read about the College in The Hills and find out.

Family trees usually are as rich in branches as they are in roots. My own particular branch of the the family has not been particularly fruitful however. I am my father's only son, and none of his siblings had any children. I have a half-brother and sister, neither of whom have had any children. I have two children, and thus far only one grand-child. My father has a half-brother and several half-sisters on his father's (Potts) side. The following pages are tributes to my father, James Robert Carr, and my uncle, George William Carr.

James Robert Carr

George William Carr


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This page last updated Sunday, May 12, 2013 09:41 PM.