BACK    Penland  Historical  Society, Inc.

    April  -  June  2016
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 Nathan Penland & Anne Marie Bonnette are engaged!! 
                      Nathan & Anne Marie have recently
                                         announced that they are engaged to be
                                         married!   The announcement just
                                         preceded Anne Marie's graduation from
                                         Nursing school.   Nathan is currently in
                                         graduate school at the University of
                                        Texas at San Antonio.   He is pursuing a
                                        graduate degree in mathematics.  Nathan
                                        is the son of Patrick & Tawnya Penland of 
                                        Schertz, Texas, and the brother of
                                        Dr. Brittany (Penland) Lasseigne of
                                        Madison, Alabama.   Congratulations to
                                        Anne Marie on her graduation, and to  
                                        both of them for their decision to spend
                                        their future together as husband & wife!! 
                                        {Nathan is the grandson of Charles &
                                        Phyllis Penland of Selma, Texas}    

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 Blake Steczkowski Graduates From Texas A&M
Blake Colton Steczkowski, son of John & Rhonda (Penland) Steczkowski of Cedar Park, Texas is graduating in May from Texas A&M University with a degree in Kinesiology.   Since his sophmore year in high school, Blake has felt the call to devote his life to working in the field of prosthetics helping those who need artificial limbs!    He has made several mission trips to various parts of the world and has seen the need for that kind of assistance first hand.   He spent the summer of 2015 in Haiti working in the prosthetics Lab there.   After graduation, Blake has been chosen to represent the 'Mission of Hope' hosting in Haiti, the Texas A&M football team on a mission journey there.    He will be attending Alabama State University this fall pursuing a Masters Degree in the Prosthetics field.  {Blake is the grandson of Charles & Phyllis Penland of Selma, Texas & Arthur & Martha Steczkowski of San Antonio, Texas}
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                   Historical Post Office in Penland, NC

                                                           (built in 1902)
             "The Penland Post Office and General Store is representative of the numerous 
               modest community buildings that once dotted the North Carolina mountains. 
               Many of these places have been lost to development or neglect, yet this
               place survives, overlooking the Clenchfield Railroad line and the waters of
               the Toe River, a landmark to visitors and longtime residents alike.   With
               community support for repair and rehabilitation, the Penland Store and Post
               Office will remain a cultural attraction and a commercial asset to Mitchell
               County and to the western North Carolina region.".....  Jennifer Cathey,
                   Restoration Specialist, State Historic Preservation Office, NC Department of Cultural

The Penland Post Office, of Penland, North Carolina, was established in 1879, and moved several times until it was finally established in this building in 1934.  The building itself was built in 1902 and housed the Bailey Lumber Company, and later the General Store.   Thanks to the efforts of Marcia Bailey and her daughter, Alicia Swaringen, the Penland Post Office and General Store gained its place on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.   

In 2012, the community formed a 501(C)3 {know as the Penland Post Office Project} to accept ownership and responsibility for renovating and restoring the Penland Post Office and General Store building.   Today, the left side of the building is enpty, but the Penland Post Office Project is in the process of stabilization and they need to raise more money to do the rest of the restoration. Eventually, the space will be available for community members to create retail spaces, outdoor recreation outpost or other needed business.   Recently, Jean W. McLaughlin, Director of the Penland School of Crafts observed:
              "Penland School of Crafts and the Penland Post Office have a very special, 
                  intertwined history.   When you cross the bridge over the north Toe and
                  seethe historic post office, you know you are entering Penland's world. 
                  You can send mail back into the 'other world' through the Penland Post
                  Office at the same time you remain safely emm ersed in the creative zone
                  of Penland where time can stand still."      

NOTE:   The property that the Penland Post Office sits on once belonged to Milton Pinckney Penland, and was inherited by his daughter, Louise Adelaid who married Colonel Isaac Hutsell Bailey in 1875.   Penland, North Carolina was named for Milton, {although one published account says it was Robert Penland}.
Anyone wishing to assist the project with a donation can send a check made out to The Penland Post Office Project & mail it to The Penland Post Office Project, P. O. Box 41, Penland, NC   28765
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Volunteers Needed for DNA Testing
As you know, a couple of years ago we completed some DNA testing for several male Penlands based on the 'Y' Chromosome which is genetically passed from a father to each son, unchanged  - and we received some positive information from that  about whether William, Robert, George & Alexander (the four Penland men who migrated to NC during the 1700s) were brothers.   WHY is their relationship important to us?   If they were in fact brothers, (as many have believed for a long time), that means every person with the name 'Penland' (other than adoptees) are family & blood related!    That would also give additional support to the theory that we may all descend from a single couple who lived in Scotland around 1200 AD.   Our previous DNA testing proved two things -  (1) the William Penland who married Mary Casey in 1811 in Roane County, Tennessee was the same William Penland who had a second family that was reported in the 1930 Census over in Cocke County, TN.
{I am living proof of his second family}!   And,  (2) the two great grandsons of William - one from each family  (believed to descend from George) were identical matches to a great grandson of Alexander meaning George & Alexander both had the same biological father.   The males tested who claimed lineage to William & Robert did not exactly match the other results meaning that those tested were not true natural descendants, or that William & Robert had another biological father.   There is an account in the book about the History of the Presbyterian Church at Quaker Meadows that Robert Penland had his younger brother (assumed to be George) get Robert's family to the Fort during an Indian raid - so, we naturally expected that there should be DNA matches for Robert & George.   Hopefully, further tests will help determine that!
{What is needed now is a male volunteer descendant of each - William, Robert & George.  The volunteer must be a 'natural' descendant for the test to be valid - if you fit that category, please contact me at    The test only requires a Q-tip swabbing inside  the cheek for saliva & then mailing in the test kit.   There will be no cost to you - I will arrange to get the test kit sent to you & upon completion, I will share the results with everyone! }  Thanks ....... Charles Penland
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Penland Family Mysteries ?????
There are two situations concerning the family name 'Penland' that are confusing to some degree!    That particular spelling of the name seems to have actually originated with the four male Penlands who migrated to North Carolina during the 1700s with Alexander then going on to Kentucky.   The name before them was 'Pentland', as it was in Scotland, and after them, it almost always became Penland - except a few cases where some inserted a 'd' - most likely the result of census takers who couldn't spell what they were hearing.   However, that may not be totally true in all cases:

      1.  Recently, we became aware of a family named 'Pendland" who trace their
           family lineage to an Alexander Pentland who migrated to America from
           Scotland in 1787 along with his wife Mary, five sons & one daughter.   The
           childrens' names were George, William, John, James, Robert and daughter
           Americus.   Many of their descendants now live mostly in the midwest states.
          The family traces their roots to the area around the Pentland Hills in Scotland.
           So, it is likely that family's ancestor is related to ours, and we to them! 
           Interesting that more than 150 years later we may have discovered each
           other!.   DNA tests with someone from that family, and the Pentlands who
           settled in Canada, may shed more light on the early history of our 
           ancestral 'roots', and the very possible relationship to their family, so we are
           working to arange those tests.   In addition, there are a few Pentlands in the
           United States whose early ancestors may have been part of the family from
           which our four ancestors came.   We are continuing to seek DNA tests 
           from that group also!  

       2. We know there are a number of black families who have the name 'Penland'.
           The obvious question is, how did that happen?   How did African Americans
           wind up with a name that originated in Scotland, and even more precisely, in
           North Carolina?   There is a picture on the internet of a black gentleman
           named Hamilton Penland, known as 'Uncle Ham'  (no age given & no date of
           the photo).   One member of PHS remembers, as a little girl, going with her
           Grandpa in a horse drawn wagon to town and they gave a man named
           Hamilton Penland a ride.  Afterward her grandpa told her that Hamilton had
           been born a slave but was then a free man and he came from a nearby
           Penland property.    Also, we know of a Miles Penland, born in North Carolina
           in 1840, which was before slaves were freed!   Many of his descendants live
           in California today.

           It seems that there might be two possible answers to the question.   First,
           when slaves were freed, some may have voluntarily taken the name of the
           owners of the property where they had lived {unfortunately, historical records
           do indicate that several Penland's owned slaves!}  Or, it may have been that
           a male Penland fathered a son with a slave woman and gave him that name! 
           A further question is, are all black families named Penland blood related?   Or,
           is it possible there are combinations of the above?    Again, a DNA test may
           provide some answers, and we are pursuing that.   If you have any knowledge
           about the above and are willing to share it, please contact us at 
        Thank  You!  .............................Charles Penland
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   Can you Help Solve Another Mystery???
   Over the past several years, many people have contacted us, asking if we knew who the parents  of
  Noble Alexander Penland were? Noble was born about 1825 in Cocke County, Tennessee.   He was
  married three times, (1)  Elizabeth Bradford in 1844, (2)  Elizabeth McCarnie (between 1856 - 1859) &
  (3)  Mary Jane West on 2 August 1869.   Noble died about 1899 in Cobden, Union County, Illinois.   In
  trying to assist with this search for information, we began by looking for Penland families who lived in
  Cocke County, TN during the period of 1820 to 1832.   We know that Abraham D. Penland, the Penland
  most associated with Tennessee during the 1800s, but he moved his family from North Carolina to 
  Cocke County sometime after 1834 - all of his children were born in North Carolina, so it is not likely
  that Noble associated with that family!  

  The only other Penland family that we know was living in Cocke County, Tennessee during the period
   when Noble Alexander was born is William Penland & his wife Margaret (last name unknown), as
   evidenced by the listing of their names on the 1830 census for that county.   That William Penland was
   the same William Penland who had married Mary Casey in 1811 in Roane County, Tennessee.  (That fact    was determined thru DNA 'Y' Chromosome tests 170 years later by testing two of his great grandsons -
   one each from his two marriages)   Some time after their fifth child was born in 1819, William suddenly
   disappeared, never to be seen again by Mary & her children.   Five years later, Mary remarried (she 
   believed William must have died) and not long after that, moved her family to Missouri.   On the 1830
   census William & Margaret's family consisted of them, and eight children (three of which were 10 years
   of age, or older - most likely Margaret's, from another marriage).   The five that were likely fathered by
   William were two unnamed males under 5 years of age (now believed to be Levi & William), two
   unnamed males between 5 & 10 years old (have never been identified) and an unnamed daughter under
   the age of five has never been identified!   It is very possible that Noble Alexander Penland was one 
   of the two males born between 1820 & 1830.   After the 1830 census, William & Margaret had one other
   son about 1832 named James Penland - I am living proof of that - James was my great, great
   grandfather!   Does anyone have any information that might prove or disprove
  the above?   If so, please let me know at 
                         .................................Charles Penland
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Richard  "Bun" Penland                          (1936 - 2016)
Copperhill, TN...........Richard Penland passed away on 8 May 2016.   A native of Buncombe County, NC and a U.S. Army Veteran.   He was the son of the late William and "Nora Ingle Penland.   In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by wife of 55 years, Frelda Penland, two brothers, James Penland and Elmer Penland and three sisters, Martha Jenes, Blanche Ballew and Elizabeth Sluder.   He is survived by his brother, William "Junior" Penland of Weaverville, NC and four step-children, Judy Hedrick of Copperhill, TN, Harold Penley of Cookeville, TN, Larry Dean Penley and Rick Penmley both of Ashville, NC.   Rivchard worked for Mills Mfg. for over 50 years and for the city of Ashville.   He loved farming and to make furniture.   His memorial service is scheduled for June 3 in Weaverville.     

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Theresa Ray Penland                    (1963 - 2016)
Louisville, KY...........Theresa Ray Penland, 53, entered rest on Tuesday, April 19, 2016.  She was a member of St. Rita Catholic Church.   Theresa was preceded in death by her father, Henry Kemp.   She is survived by her husband, John Penland, her son Wesley, a daughter, Jessica and grandchildren, Molly and Jaxson;  her mother, Margaret Kemp;  sister, Debbie Jenkins and brother, Bill Kemp.   Her memorial service was held on Friday.    
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Oliver Cromwell. Penland         (1922 - 2016)
Swannanoa, NC............  Oliver Cromwell Penland, 94, of Swannanoa passed away Friday, April 8, 2016.   He was born March 22, 1922 in Buncombe County to the late Oscar Penland and Sadie Wilson Penland Hall.   Oliver is survived by his daughter, Olivia McGuinn (Charles), sons, Richard C. Penland and Jerry Penland (Beve).   After working in the Naval shipyard in New Port News, Virginia.   Oliver served in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during WW II.   Oliver and Ruth attended the Swannanoa Valley Presbyterian Church where Oliver served as an Elder.   His burial was in the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.
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Jencie Wright Rogers               (1928 - 2016)
Jencie Wright Rogers, 87, died April 18, 2016, at Silver Bluff Nursing and Rehabitation.   Jencie was born on December 31, 1928 to the late Forest and Marjorie Penland Wright.   In addition to her parents Jencie was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene Calvin Rogers:  an infant brother, David Wright:  and a granddaughter, Robin Jencie, and she is survived by a son, Calvin Jennings Rogers, (Ruth):  daughters, Barbara Jean Baity, (Jim) and Carol Thomas, (Ken):  a sister, Theresa Frizzell, (Ray):  grandchildren.   A memorial service celebrating Jencie's life was held on 21 April.
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Freida May Lominac Penland    (1932 - 2016)
Asheville, NC......... Freida May Lominac Penland, age 84, of Macedonia Road in Asheville, NC, died Monday, April 18, 2016 at her daughter's home in Copperhill, Tennessee.    A native of Buncombe County, NC, she was the daughter of the late Richard C. and Jessie Ada Phillips Lominac.   She was also preceded in death by her brother, Harold Richmond Lominac.   Surviving are Richard Penland, her husband of 55 years, and four children,  Dean Penley of Asheville, Harold Penley (LuAnn) of Tennessee, Judy Hendrick of Tennessee and Ricky Penley (Glenda) of Asheville, and many loving grandchildren, great grandchildren and a great, great grandchild.    Also surviving are a brother, Rex C. Lominac (Judy) of Concord.
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Mark E. Penland                    (1963 - 2016)
Ocala, Florida...........Mark E. Penland of Ocala passed away March 23, 2016.   He was born  March 14, 1963.   He was an Air Force Veteran who received many awards, including the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal & the Air Force Achievement Medal.   Mark is survived by his mother, Carol Hoffman;  brother, John Penland (Lynn), daughter, Alisha Kowsky (Dave);  grandson, Trenton;  son, Jeffrey Penland (Kimber);  grandson, Samuel;  daughters, Kristen Penland, and Brenda Penland;  stepson, Mason Buck;  wife, Michelle Dinkins Penland.   Mark enjoyed grilling, camping, and spending time with his various farm animals. {Mark died as a result of a domestic violence incident}
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Lois Buckner Johnson                 (1912 - 2016)
Lois Buckner Johnson, 94, of Candler, NC passed away on Friday, May 20, 2016.   She was born in Greenville, Tennessee to the late James and Minnie Penland Buckner.   Lois was a member of Liberty Baptist Church and had retired from Candler Elementary and Enka High School, having served in their cafererias.   In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her 10 brothers and 5 sisters.   Lois is survived by her husband of 75 years, Ralph E. Johnson; son, Joe (Sandra) Johnson;  grandchildren, Nathan (Donita) Johnson and Kristen (David) Dominguez;  great-grandchildren Kaemon and Kaeddin Dominguez, and Kodi and Aaron Collins and great-great-granddaughter, Ella Grace Tucker.    Her memorial service was held Tuesday 24 May at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Candler.  
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Bobby Penland                            (1937 - 2016)
Bobby Penland, age 78, of Hoschton, Georgia passed away on Thursday, April 7, 2016.  He is survived by his wife, Ruth M. Penland, a daughter, Rebecca Penland and her husband Mike Bruce of Hoschton;  a son, Michael Scott Penland, of Hoschton;  granddaughter, Christina Bruce & husband, Michael Crow, of Braselton, GA;   granddaughter Lora Bruce, of Hoschton;  nieces, nephews and cousins;  two aunts and one uncle.   Bobby was born on April 21, 1937 in Hayesville, NC.   He was retired from General Motors after 35 years of service.    He enjoyed hunting, fishing and was a sports fanatic, especially of Georgia Tech University.   He was a member of Prospect United Methodist Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia.  
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Ryan Leon Penland                            (1993 - 2016)
Chesapeake, VA........ Ryan Leon Penland, 23, passed away unexpectedly May 22, 2016.  Ryan is survived by his mother, Shelly Penland;  father, Reyes Martinez Perez;  sons, Rian Sizemore and Aiden Marshburn; sisters, Alaina and Sophia Martinez;  maternal grandmother, Barbara Penland, and paternal grandfather, J. Socorra Martinez.    A celebration of his life was held on June 4, 2016.
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Evelyn Louise Penland                       (1931 - 2016)
Manhattan, KS............. Evelyn Louise (Neal) Penland, age 85, of Manhattan, died June 12, 2016, at Stormount-Vail Healthcare in Topeka, KS following a sudden illnes.   Evelyn was born May 16, 1931 in Maryville, MO, the daughter of Paul Leslie Neal, Sr. and Evelyn Lucile (Gaugh) Neal, and had been a Manhattan resident since 1962.   On June 5, 1949, in St. Joseph, Missouri, she was married to George Penland.   He preceded her in death on March 7, 1999.   Evelyn and George owned and operated the Cinderella Dry Cleaners in Aggieville until his death.   She then worked as a clerk/salesperson for Pfeifley
Jewelers from 1999 until her retirement in 2012.   Evelyn was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Sara Circle and the United Methodist Women.   She was also a member of the Epsilon Sigma International Sorority -- Gamma Lamba Chapter and had served on the state board.   She also liked to play bridge and was a member of a bridge club since 1963.   Survivors include five children:   Nicholas Penland of New Haven, CT, Gregory Penland and his wife Anne of Rapid City, SD,  Janice Hinman and her husband Paul of Manhattan, KS,  Nancy Moss and her husband Mike of Manhattan, and Darrel Penland of Manhattan;  two brothers, Paul Neal, Jr. of St. Joseph, MO, and Robert Neal of Aurora, CO;  seven grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.    Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents and one son, Mark Penland.  
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Alma Davidson Penland                   (1927 - 2016)
Alma Davidson Penland, 89, passed away 20 June 2016 in Greenville, South Carolina.   She was born February 2, 1927.  (no other information is available at this time)
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Shirley L. Griffin                             (1935 - 2016)
Shirley L. Griffin, 80, passed away June 21, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.   She was born November 16, 1935 in Altus, Arkansas to Hugh and Floy Penland.   She married the love of her life, Ronald Griffin, May 23, 1964.   Survivors include her husband of 52 years, Ronald;  two daughters, Deborah Coats, Ronda Kemerley-Norman;  5 grandchildren;  7 great grandchildren;  and two brothers, Ed & Jerry Penland. 
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R. Joanne Penland                           (1928 - 2016)
Goshen, IN............R. Joanne Penland, 87, passed away Saturday, June 25, 2016 at Greencroft Healthcare after declining health since January.   She was born November 5, 1928, in Goshen, to Paul and Ruby (Smoker) Unzicker.   On September 17, 1950, she married Olan G. Penland.   Olan preceded her in death July 1, 1992.   Joanne married Richard Sheline November 5, 1993 and he passed away May 1, 2003.  She is survived by two daughters, Sally (Tim) Baumle of Payne, Ohio, and Beth (Randy) Cripe of Goshen;  a son, Gary (Carla) Penland of North Webster;  nine granddaughter, Alison Marie Penland, of Charlotte, NC, one sister, Peggy Mazzone of Wilmington, Deleware;  several nieces and nephews also survive. ;  six great grandchildren; and a cousin, Edward Smoker of Elkhart, who was raised by Joanne's parents.   Along with her parents and both husbands, she was preceded in death by two sisters and brothers-in-law, Margaret (Bryon) Balyeat and Mary (Wilden( Snyder.
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Lurlie Jane Penland                          (1920 - 2016)
Unicoi, Tennessee.............Lurlie Jane Penland, age 95, of Unicoi went to be with the Lord on Sunday, June 26, 2016 while in the Center on Aging and Health.   She was a native of Clintwood, Virginia and had lived in  this area since 1948.   Mrs Penland was a daughter of the late Nelson and Cresia Mills Mullins.   She was a member of the Sexton Freewill Baptist Church, Marshall, NC.   Other than her parents, Mrs Penland was preceded in death by her husband of sixty two years, Reverend Spivey Penland on October 25, 2010; three brothers & three sisters.   Left to cherish her memory are one son, Eddie Penland and wife, Judy Bradley Penland of Johnson City;  one granddaughter, Alison Marie Penland, of Charlotte, NC;  one sister, Peggy Mazzone of Wilmington, Deleware;  several nieces and nephews also survive.
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