Poppy’s Grandparents: Doctor Franklin Sebastian & Elizabeth Dowell

Doctor Franklin Sebastian (middle) and his sons

Doctor Franklin Sebastian (middle) and his sons


Doctor Franklin Sebastian was born 29 September 1876 to Zachary T Sebastian and America Caroline Shepherd in Wilkes County, North Carolina.  Unbelievably, I just found out he was a twin.  I am not sure if my Poppy, who lived with him in North Carolina for several years, knew this or not.  Doc’s twin died in 1931 when my grandfather was only 7, probably before he went to live with him, so it is possible his grandfather never talked about it and he did not know.  Perhaps he never thought it important enough to tell.  The more I research the family tree, the more questions I wish I could ask my grandparents and the more findings I wish I could share with them.

On the census in 1880, my great-great-grandfather was living in Rock Creek Township, Wilkes County, North Carolina.  His parents are listed as Z.T. and Amerca C Sebastian.  His older sister, Eliza, is six years old.  He and his twin, Willie M, were three.  Also living with the family at the time were fifteen-year-old Lindy Feder, a domestic servant of no relation, and seventeen-year-old George Wood, a farm laborer of no relation.

About 1896, at the age of twenty, Doc married Elizabeth Dowell, a woman who had lived nearby as a little girl in the 1880 census.  Elizabeth Dowell was born 1 January 1878 in Wilkes County, North Carolina to Frances Dowell and Elizabeth Ann Mahaffey.  On the 1880 census, her family is living in Rock Creek Township, Wilkes County, North Carolina.  She is the youngest of six children.  Her oldest brother, Benjamin F, is 21 and helping her father farm the land.  Her sister Mary has moved out.  I have not done much research on her yet.  Her sisters, Cintha, age 12, and Dorcus, age 10 and brother, Augustus, age 7 are listed in the household as well.  Elizabeth’s maternal grandmother, Mary Mahaffey, age 80, is also living with them.

In 1897, they had their first child, my great-grandfather, Everett Montague Sebastian, followed by their only daughter, Anne Zell, in 1899.  They had another child about every two years until 1917: Robert E, Carey Earl, Hoyle Cecil, Conrad, John Vernon, JD, William Franklin, and Clyde Rowan.  On the 1900 census, Doc is farming the land he owns free and clear in Rock Creek Township.

By the 1910 census, they have added four more sons to the family.  They are still living in Rock Creek, but Doc is working as a miller at a flour mill.  By the 1920 census, the family is living in North Wilkesboro and they have added their last four sons.  Doc is working as a laborer in a cotton mill.

Harry Sebastian at his grandfather's funeral

Harry Sebastian at his grandfather’s funeral

On the 1930 census, Doc is back in Rock Creek Township farming again.  Three of his sons are working in a furniture factory.  Somewhere between 1930 and 1940 is when my grandfather lived with his grandparents.

Elizabeth passed away 24 June 1935 and was buried in Rock Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.  Doc remarried Etta in 1936.  They lived together in Rock Creek on the 1940 census.

Doc passed away 29 September 1954.  He was buried at Rock Creek Baptist Church Cemetery next to his wife.



2 thoughts on “Poppy’s Grandparents: Doctor Franklin Sebastian & Elizabeth Dowell

  1. Barbara Spears Pipek says:

    I can help you with the SHEPHERD ancestry if you are interested.

    • Would love it! I had her parents’ names but had not done a lot with her family yet at all. The blog really helps me focus my research one person at a time, one generation at a time all the way back and go indepth. Plus it’s a fun way to get the pictures and info out there for family and the next generation if they’re interested. I look forward to learning about the Shepherds!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s