The Grandfathers
Vol.I, The Hall and Overstreet Families
Carrol Carman Hall, Springfield, IL, 1981

Section II
Chapter 8, Page 84


The Name Overstreet

The name is of English derivation and referred to dwellers on old Roman roads by a river bank. It could be interpreted as a 'street over the water' or an ancestor of our word 'bridge.' As in many other instances the exact meaning has been lost in antiquity.


Placed in the files of the Illinois State Historical Society, Springfield, is a map made by the Confederate Engineers during Civil War of Bedford county, Virginia. It shows the roads, the fords across the streams and lists the locations of the homes of various families. On it is shown the Hall family on Rockcastle Creek. This would be the family of Mathew Hall, 1767 - 1855, who were active in the CSA. The map was for military commanders conducting operations in the county.


One Lincoln story that has persisted among the descendants of Abner Banks Hall, 1820-1896. It is: that during Lincoln's brief career, + A.B. Hall worked with him as a chain man and driver of stakes. The story has plausibility as Lincoln did do considerable surveying in and around Athens, Illinois. A.B. Hall as a local handy man and tavern keeper would have been available for such work.

A "Knotty" Story

As a young man, the author was a Scout Master and involved in knot-tying contests with his troop of boys. At his home on one occasion, following Sunday dinner, the writer was practicing up his knots for the scout meeting coming up that week.

He was working with a knot called 'the weaver's knot' - one not commonly used and the ambitious scoutmaster was tying it via the picture in the Scout Handbook.

After watching his efforts, Grandma (Emeline Pestel Hall, 1850 - 1937) said, 'Let me show you how to tie it.' Handing her the rope, it was amazing how quickly and simply she tied it.

The "weaver's Knot' was one she had used as a girl when things were woven at home.

Needless to say, the old-time method of tying the knot was taught to his championship knot-tying team!


Since Granddad, James Newton Hall, 1849-1928, was too young for service in the Civil War, he probably felt that he had lost out. Anyway when asked, "Granddad, would you go to war as a soldier?" He answered, "Sure, as long as they used hot buttered biscuits for bullets!"


Colonial Americans were great for 'pet' names of their daughters. "Sarah" became "Sally": "Mary became "Molly;" Elizabeth" became "Polly" not Betty as in later generations.



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Illinois Ancestors