“The more you practice the art of thankfulness, the more you have to be thankful for.” ~ Normal Vincent Peale


Adam and Elizabeth Jones Terry


Continuing with the ancestor theme, here’s a photo of my grandfather Terry’s parents. Adam (Casebolt) Terry married his first wife, my great grandmother, Elizabeth Betty Jones in 1906. She was fifteen years old. He was 21. They had nine children over the next 22 years. She died at the young age of 47, four days after her grandson Norvin, my dad, was born. They say she had the chance to see and hold him only once. My Aunt Mable looks so much like her it’s stunning, frankly. As we were in the hall admiring the photos, Cousin Missy said, “He looks like a gangster,” to which I replied, “Because he was.” He was the Hillbilly version of a gangster anyway. Like Arby Prater, he dabbled in moonshine, but he was much more than a dabbler. He was the guy that protected the area moonshiners from the revenuers. These law men came into the mountains of Perry and Knott Counties never to be seen or heard from again. They say Adam killed at least seven men, maybe as many as fifteen, but apparently no one knows for certain (or dad doesn’t know for sure). All stereotype is born of some truth, and it seems Adam played his part in this one. He died in 1952. He’s buried beside his second wife in the Adam Terry Cemetery just off Highway 80 on the Perry/Knott County line. It sits on a hill in what used to be Ball Creek before the highway ripped clean through it. His family owned a farm on Ball Creek. There’s even a Terry Branch of Ball Creek, though it’s called Ball Fork on modern maps. And if you’re wondering about the name Casebolt, that is our real surname. The name Terry was adopted by Adam’s grandfather, Silas, whose father, John Casebolt, died in 1814. Silas was hardly a year old at the time. Silas’ mother, Salverry Sabra Estep (evidence that I come by my unusual name honestly), remarried a man named William Terry. The next two generations often appear in documents with both Terry and Casebolt until they finally settled on Terry, at least our line anyway. Other descendant lines kept the original Casebolt. Adam and Elizabeth had quite the life together. I wish I could have known them.

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