Sherry & Cindy
As the surviving patriarch of this branch of the Penn line any information is invaluable. From W.E.Penn’s parents George D. Penn and Telitha Patterson Clay there are no known Penn surname descendants other than those from his brother John J. Penn and Harriet Dunson and their only issue; John Clay Penn 1868-1935. His father died when he was an infant and was raised in combination between his mother, a very much older half brother, and a servant (aunt Jane) who I believe was a descendant of Corrilla’s ‘property’. Aunt Jane also helped raise my grandfather John Clay Penn 1898-1992 and his brother. My grandfather’s accounts (now transcribed to CD) do not mention Corrilla or his Aunt Mary E. (Penn) Taylor living in Eureka Springs, only aunt Sallie….a sister to W.E. Penn and his grandfather. Another note, my great grandfather, John Clay Penn I (there’s three) spent much of his youth traveling with W. E. Penn and company beginning what would now be considered modern day evangelism. When he left the KATY railroad due to injury, he opened movie theaters in McKinney TX, around 1908, one of which was outdoors in the summer, where he applied vaudevillian techniques learned from Evander in his youth with my grandfather doing many of the skits.
As an entertainer in the music business for some time now, it’s fun to look back and realize where some of my influence came from.
My research on my Penn line began around 1986 when I made a trip to east Texas and Arkansas for more information. When in Eureka Springs I found a museum where they had a copy of W.E. Penn’s autobiography, and it was there I copied the information stating his/my ancestry, which I’ve later found to be fairly accurate. In the last several years I’ve gained much information from Marion Co. Texas and Henderson Co. Tennessee and have been able to assume some possibilities as to the fate of this family after the civil war till 1870.