Everyone knows that when you work or struggle for something that you obviously appreciate credit for your hard work. You spend lots of time planning and researching and selling your idea or research. Most of us who are amateur genealogist usually don't expect money or fame for our hard work but we do appreciate a kind word or an occasional pat on the back from those that benefit from it. Most families, like mine are busy doing other things and have little time for genealogy. I am now in that category. I would take my site down if it weren't for the almost daily good comments I get from the many guest books I have on my site. Now with that said I want to try and relate to you interesting research that I have found, or rather other distant relatives have helped me gather.

Even as a young boy growing up in Tazewell and visiting Lone Mountain, Tennessee I heard that some distant relative had been an inventor and had worked many years with Thomas A. Edison. A late friend and researcher from Wise, Virginia, Eula Mae McNutt had named the group that had attacked and killed my great great grandfather Hiram E. Payne on a hillside near Gate City, Virginia as Tom Edison's Band. I figured this was her way to say that you should forget the past and look a little closer to the future. I found this distant relative inventor to be Paul Donald Payne whose lineage is below:

(31) Paul Donald3 Payne , (Jacob2, Hiram1) was born in 1892 at Milligan College, Carter Co., Tennessee, USA, and married (111) Susan (Susie) Clarke who was born about 1892 at New York, USA. Paul Donald died on 16 Jul 1969 at Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA and was buried at Moravian Cem, Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA. Susan (Susie) died about 1970.Anderson G. Payne
Paul Donald was associated with Thomas A. Edison in Orange, N. J. from 1922 till Edison's death in 1931.

112 + Virgina Clarke4 Payne
113 + Paul Donald Payne, Jr.

Hiram E. Payne of course as I said above was killed and his oldest son Anderson G. Payne , my great-grandfather was wounded. Hiram left eight children and some of the younger were "farmed" out to relatives in the Scott County, Va and Hancock County, Tn area. James M. Payne, born 1852, was one child. His descendant Dorthy Vansickle wrote this note in 1992. Anderson was almost 18 years old when his father was killed and was the first to leave the homestead on the Tennessee-Virginia Border. He was married a year after his father died and moved to Claiborne County where he became the first Railroad and Depot Agent and a merchant with a wagon and livery store. The story I was told that since Anderson had done well he was looked upon as a caretaker for many of the younger children. I heard that Jacob had fallen on hard times and that Anderson was called upon to go up on "New River" after him and his family. Now as we can see from Jacob C. Payne's obituary he lived several years in Claiborne County, in Virginia and at Milligan College before moving his family to Knox County in abt. 1920 where he prospered.
I was contacted last year by a great-great-granddaughter of Paul Donald Payne, son of Jacob C. Payne. She was doing her senior research paper on Paul Donald Payne and his work with the great inventor Thomas A. Edison and wanted to thank me for my website which had given her information on her ancestral family which she had not been given. This being the lineage back from Jacob C. Payne to our common ancestor Hiram Payne (lineage below). And then on up as the links provide.

(11) Enoch3 PAYNE, ( John2 PAYNE, Reuben1) was born in 1796 in Washington Co., TN, and on Aug 22, 1818 in Scott Co., Virginia, married (72) Sarah ENGLAND, daughter of John ENGLAND and Mary PARSONS, who was born in 1796 in Scott Co., Virginia. Enoch died in Mar 1863 in Hancock Co., Tennessee, USA. Sarah died about 1855 in ScottJacob C. and Nancy Payne Payne Co., Va.
73 + Elizabeth4 PAYNE b.c 1812 d. Dec 19 1882
74 + Ann PAYNE b. 1819 d Nov 9 1889
75 + Isabell PAYNE b. 1821 d. Dec 1859
76 + William Green PAYNE b. 1823 d. 1860
77 + Hiram E. PAYNE b. 1824 d. Aug 1865
78 + Mary Polly PAYNE b. 1826 d. 1894
79 + James PAYNE b. 1829
80 + Henry PAYNE b. 1835
During my correspondence with the young lady I was in the process of getting married and moving from Knoxville back to New Tazewell, and made every effort to keep in touch with her but somehow lost contact and even her email address. We were in the process of exchanging information on just what inventions Paul Donald had developed while with Edison in East Orange, New Jersey. There was only one that she said she was aware, a hand held label maker that today is known as the Dymo Label Maker . She was aware of some disagreement among family members as to whether Paul Donald Payne had received the recognition he deserved for that invention. She was ordering information from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Store Patents and Trademarks to help either prove or disprove her suspicions. I am hopeful that she occasionally finds time to look at my site and will see what I have found and contact me again with her findings. An interesting sidenote is that my brother-in-law, Tony Rinker is employed with the Government Agency mentioned above and that he may be able to help her if she would contact me at JPayne5744@aol.com.

UPDATE!! The young lady that contacted me early in 2004 for help with a research paper finally contacted me. I am glad that she got an A+ on her research paper. I am pasting the email below.
To: JPayne5744
Subject: Payne Geneology
Date: Tue, 6 Dec 2005
Hi. It's Rebecca C. Payne. We talked a few years ago via email about my great grandfather, Paul Donald Payne, Sr. I'm glad to hear you found more information about our links. Thank you for all you've done. PS. I remember the paper. I got an A+ on it.
Becky Payne

Another branch of the Jacob C. and Nancy Payne family have contacted me. Paul Donald Payne, Jr.'s niece and great niece. It seems that Paul Donald Payne, Sr. was also responsible for other inventions while with Edison. For more information from them PLEASE CLICK HERE
Now from my website and family history I have found another appreciative distance cousin, Meg Horton. She also descends from the Jacob C. and Nancy Payne line.

Meg (Margaret) Horton writes the following:


Meg Horton


Joe Payne


Descendants of Hiram E. Payne�I am one.


Tue, 26 Apr 2005 10:37:31 -0400

(28) Mary Elizabeth3 Payne, (Jacob2, Hiram1) was born 19 Aug 1885 at Claiborne Co., Tennessee, USA, and married (103) Thomas Matson Brumit who was born May 10, 1885 at Elizabethton, Carter Co., Tennessee, USA. Mary Elizabeth died on 19 Jun 1976 at Knoxville, Knox Co., Tennessee, USA and was buried at Lynhurst Cem, Knox Co., Knoxville, Tn.
104 + Iris Elizabeth4 Brumit born February 6, 1915 in Elizabethton, Carter Co., TN

Iris Elizabeth Brumit is my grandmother.

She married Fred Frank Comer of Knoxville, TN. They had one child, David Lee Comer (now deceased).
David Lee Comer married my mother, Linda Sharon Smith (previous married name Shackleford).
They had two children: Christopher Lee Comer (my brother) and Margaret Marie Comer (me�now
Margaret Marie Horton).

My grandmother, Iris, still lives in Knoxville. Her husband Fred is deceased.

Please let me know if I can offer any more information. Iris did extensive genealogy work
on her family about 20 years ago.

Meg (Margaret) Horton

Well it so happens that I had visited Lynhurst Cemetery last year and took pictures of all the graves near the Jacob and Nancy Payne stone. There were several Brumit graves just along side those of Jacob and Nancy. I have put those pictures online and they can by clicking here.

Now with the Payne's affiliation with such people as Henry Ford and Thomas A. Edison. Anyone who grew up in the last three generations of Payne's has heard how Payne Ford Motor Company began. The Payne Brothers Fate and Bob began selling Ford cars after having them shipped from Detroit somewhere around 1914. John Kivett wrote and interesting article that can be see by
clicking here.

Paul Donald Payne's affiliation with the families must have started sometime in just as Henry Ford made his trip to New Tazewell and the area to open Payne Brothers new Ford Motor Company. That was 1922, two years before my Grandfather Lafayette (Fate) Payne died in 1924. He was at that time County Judge and had been in office as either Sheriff or Judge since 1912 (see campaign card and merchants ribbon. He was said to be on his way to the Tennessee Senate but unfortunately a brain aneurysm ended his life prematurely.

Now to the most recent news that has really been the most exciting pictures that I ever received from any Payne family member. It may explain just how Donald Paul Payne began such an interesting career with the great inventor and Congressional Medal of Honor winner Thomas Alva Edison. This explaination being that 1922 was when Henry Ford made his trip to East Tennessee to help dedicate Payne Ford Motor Company and while here giving a tractor to Lincoln Memorial University.

I am going to continue with this story as I learn more and hopefully other family members will contact me with any corrections or additions.

Meg Horton continues with her emails:


I have attached some photos from my grandmother's photo album.
Some are of Paul Donald Payne and some of Edison.
Paul took the ones of Edison. In the photo of the two men standing,
Paul is the one on the left, and the man on the right is another
of Edison's assistants.

I'll send more detailed family information as I organize it.

Meg Horton

From: Leonard_DeGraaf@nps.gov
To: jpayne5744@aol.com

Subject: Re: Old Family Pictures and Edison History
Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 09:39:26 -0400
Dear Mr. Payne,

Thank you for showing us your family photographs. It would be difficult to answer your questions about Paul D. Payne's employment with Edison without conducting research in the archives. Unfortunately, we are unable to access the archives at this time because the Edison Site is undergoing extensive renovation.

I do not know when we will be able to resume our normal reference operations. The Edison Site will remain closed until at least June 2006. If you contact us again next spring we may be able to give you more information.

Leonard DeGraaf
Edison National Historical Site