This chapter describes the paternal ancestry of William (Bill) Clancy Best. Bill Best was my uncle and the husband of my mother’s sister, Juanita Jane Robinson. Jane Robinson married William Clancy Best in 1945.
William C. Best was the son of William Robert Best and Mary Best. William and Mary were both born in Northern Ireland. William Robert Best was born in Aughnacloy81, Northern Ireland (Tyrone County). Mary was born in Kilkishen, Northern Ireland (Clare County)939.
William Robert Best’s father was William Best and his mother was Isabelle Lee940.
Figure 12 Map of Tyrone County, Ireland
William Robert Best came from an extremely large family. At least three brothers and two sisters came to the United States according to Daphne Best Matson – George, Tom, Pat, Anne, Isabelle.
The following information summarizes various family accounts.
This is an account by Daphne (Best) Matson who was the daughter of William R. Best’s brother George Best.
“As I was always told, they were a family of twenty-one children, eighteen by one wife and four by another. (editor: perhaps she meant seventeen by 2nd wife?).
(George Best) was born in Aughnacloy, Ireland, Tyrone, North Ireland October 15. I’m not sure the year. He died in March, 1956. I think he was sixty-seven. George served in the King’s Life Guards in the Royal Household Cavalry under King George V. (George) went to France and served in World War I. Tom Best’s wife was named Sarah and had four children named Alex, Florence, Maurine and Tommy. Maurine was still living as of 2006 in Ohio. Both George and Tom lived in Tulsa. Tom worked for Mid-Continent Refinery in Tulsa. Pat Best lived in Illinois“. “William R. Best had at least two sisters – Annie and Isabelle. Anne became Anne McClure who lived in Denver, Colorado. Anne had two sons Frank and Bob. Isabelle became Isabelle Sidebotham and lived in Illinois. A brother Pat Best lived in Illinois.” My grandmother (William R. Best’s mother) was a butter and egg lady and drove a donkey and cart on her route. She came to America at one point to visit but that’s all I know. “941
Bettina Stanger wrote the following at the Ancestry.com message board on Aug 31, 2000:
“…I am searching for information about my gggrandfather and his family. William BEST (b. 1841) married Mary/Alice McBride in Aughnacloy, Tyrone. They had three children: William (1863), Sarah (1864) and John (1865). John moved to Glascow, Scotland when he was about fourteen years old after his mother died. He married Martha WILLIAMS. Two children were born in Scotland (William and Margaret). The family moved to Illinois, USA about 1892. Three more children Richard (1893), John (1895) and James (1898) were born in Illinois.
William married after his first wife died. The name of his second wife was Isabella Lee. They had possibly as many as seventeen children.
William's parents may have been William Best and Elizabeth Thompson”
Bettina Stanger wrote in Ancestry.com message board post in 2000:
“William BEST married Mary Alice McBRIDE in Aughnacloy, which is in the southern part of County Tyrone, a bit of a distance from Cookstown. They married 2 Feb. 1863 at Carnteel parish Church of Ireland (St. James). William seems to have lived in the southern part of County Tyrone between Aughnacloy and Caledon for many years. He married his second wife, Isabella LEE, 10 January 1870 at Caledon, Aghaloo parish Church of Ireland. He was an egg dealer and lived at Tully.
Researcher Elizabeth Kenzelman (Best) has written that she thinks William's parents are William BEST and Elizabeth THOMPSON, who also lived near Aughnacloy. Records on several generations of this family are found at St. James Church of Ireland at Aughnacloy.”
Elizabeth Best wrote the following in an email to Annie Crenshaw regarding her family information (she descends from William James Best and Mary Alice McBride’s son John Best). This information describes what happened based on family information after William James Best’s first wife Mary Alice McBride died.
“My husband descends from John. The story goes that William James (Best) married Isabella and his first family pretty much had to fend for themselves. John and Sarah sailed to Scotland. I did not know what happened to William or Robert James…. . John Best was a carter and his father William James (Best) was an egg dealer.
Elizabeth Best Kenzelmann provided the following information in an email to Annie Crenshaw on October 14, 2009
“I have found a record of a Francis Best who was a carpenter by trade who could have been the brother of my William born about 1802 m. Elizabeth Thompson. My William was also a carpenter. So there is a possibility of three brothers who could have existed circa 1800: William, Francis and Hugh. I believe that Hugh's (listed above) father was Francis. My William (ca. 1800) father I believe was Hugh. My William lived in the ancient town of Carnteel at the same time as Hugh. Francis lived in Ballygawley. William's son William James was an egg dealer. W. James' son John was a carter.”
The information from these sources confirms Daphne Matson’s statement in many aspects. The second wife Isabella Lee matches the mother of William Robert Best’s Death Certificate (his mother was listed as “Isabelle Lee”). Daphne also mentioned that one of William Robert Best’s sisters was named Isabelle.
Some researchers believe the parents of William Best (that married Isabella Lee) were William Best (born ~ 1802) and Elizabeth Thompson. I have not been able to validate this assertion. In this account William and Elizabeth Best had eight children:
Hugh Best (b 16 Mar 1833). Baptized March 24. His baptism record reads “Best, Hugh, son of Wm. Best of Carnteel in this parish, carpenter, & Olivia (Thompson) his wife.”942 “Born March 16: Bapt. March 24. -- Regd [registered] Apr. 15, 1833”
William James Best (b 1843). Described later.
John Best (b 2 Jun 1845943). His baptism record reads ““John - [son of] Wm. BEST & Elizabeth THOMPSON his wife, Knocknarney, Farmer, Born 6 June”
Anne Jane Best.
William Best was married twice. His first marriage was to Mary Alice McBride and they had four children. Mary Best died and then William Best remarried to Isabella Lee. William and Isabella Best had between fourteen and seventeen children from this marriage. The exact number of children varies among the various family accounts.
William Best (b 1843944) and Mary Alice McBride were married on 5 Feb 1863 at Aughnacloy Church of Ireland, Carnteel Parish, Clogher Civil District, Tyrone County945.
William and Mary Best had the following children946:
William Best (b 28 Jan 1863)
Sarah Best (b ~ 1864)
John Best (b 11 Mar 1866). John married Martha Williams (b ~1864947)
“John moved to Glascow, Scotland when he was about fourteen years old after his mother died. He married Martha WILLIAMS. Two children were born in Scotland (William and Margaret). The family moved to Illinois, USA about 1892. Three more children Richard (1893), John (1895) and James (1898) were born in Illinois.”948
William Best (b ~ 1889)
Margaret Best (b ~ 1891)
Richard Best (b 1893). Richard does not appear in the 1900 or 1910 census and may have died prior to those censuses.
John Best (b 1895)
James Best (b 1898)
Robert James Best949 (b 4 Aug 1867950). Born in Tyrone County, Northern Ireland, Aughnacloy church, Clogher Civil District, Carnteel Sub-district.
Mary Alice (McBride) Best died and William Best remarried Isabella Lee. William and Isabella had a large family (seventeen children according to one account). William Best passed away in 1898.
In the 1901 Irish Census Isabella best (listed as 48 years old) was living at House 3 in Mulnahorn, Aughnacloy, Tyrone County, Northern Ireland. She was living there with the following nine children: Mary J. McAdam (28), Margaret Best (21), Thomas Best (16), Anne Best (14), William R. Best (12), Isabella Best (11), Samuel Best (10), George Best (9) and Florence Best (7). Also living there were two grandchildren: Isabella Reid (9) and Leonard McAdam (<1). Isabella’s occupation was “egg dealer”. Their listed religion was Church of Ireland. Children not included in this census were Elizabeth (29), Leonard (24) and Hugh (17) and it is presumed that by 1901 they had left home which is consistent with other information such as fact that Elizabeth immigrated ~ 1880 and Hugh married in 1902.
In the 1911 Irish Census Isabella was living at House Number 8 in Dernabane outside Aughnacloy in Tyrone County. In the household was daughter Florence (17), daughter-in-law Sarah (22), grandson Alexander (3) and granddaughter Isabella (1). Isabella’s occupation was listed as “egg merchant”.
William James Best (b 1843, d 15 June 1898951) and Isabella Lee (b ~ 1847952, d 7 Dec 1919953) were married on 10 Jan 1870 in Caledon Church of Ireland, Aghaloo Parish, Civil District Dungannon, County Tyrone954.
William and Isabella Best had the following children:
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Best (b Feb, 1871955). Elizabeth married George W. Morris (b Aug, 1866956). Elizabeth immigrated to the U.S. around 1880 based on the 1910 census. If true she would have been 9 years old and I am not sure who she accompanied on that trip. She certainly immigrated prior to 1891 when her daughter Maud was born in Indiana. George Morris was born in Ohio and at one time ran a hotel and boarding house and later was a carpenter. In 1900 Elizabeth and George Morris were living in Garnettsville, Kentucky with daughters Maud, Sarah and Myrtle (in this census Elizabeth was listed as the mother of six children with three still living). Based on the 1900 Census Elizabeth Best and George Morris were married ~ 1889. In 1910 Elizabeth and George Morris and daughters Maud, Hazel82, Myrtle and Ruth were living in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In 1920 Elizabeth and George Morris were living next door to brother William Robert Best in Tulsa, Oklahoma. By 1930 George Morris must have passed away as Elizabeth Morris is living in her daughter’s house (Maud Balch) in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Elizabeth and George Morris had at least the following children:
Maud L. Morris (b Dec, 1891). Born in Indiana (census record). Maud married Ray B. Balch (1930 census record)
Hazel Morris (b ~ 1893). Born in Illinois (census record).
Sarah Morris (b Sep, 1894957). Born in Illinois (census record).
Myrtle L. Morris (b Apr, 1898). Born in Illinois (census record)
Ruth A. Morris (b ~ 1902). Born in Indiana.
Billy Morris (b ~1916). 1920 census lists Billy as “adopted son”.
Mary J. Best (b ~ 1872958). In the 1901 Irish Census she was listed as Mary J. McAdam and living with her mother Isabella Best.
Minnie Best959 was listed as a child of William and Isabella Best based on family information from Penny Best.
Leonard Lee (Pat?83) Best (b 17 Feb 1876960). Born in Aughnacloy, Tyrone County, Northern Ireland. Leonard married Bertha Pearl Williams (b 25 Apr 1885, d 13 Nov 1970). Bertha was born in Franklin County, Illinois. Leonard immigrated to the U.S. in 1906 based on census records. There is an immigration record for a Leonard Best born in 1876 who immigrated on 28 May 1906 from Glasgow, Scotland (via Moville Ireland). I believe this may be the same person. In the 1910 census Leonard and Bertha were listed as living in Tyrone, Illinois (Franklin County). In the 1930 census they were living in Browning Township, Illinois (Franklin County).
Leonard and Bertha Best had at least the following children:
Opal Marcella Best (b ~ 1915). Born in Illinois.
Florence D. Best (b 30 Sep 1910). Born Christopher, Illinois (Franklin County).
Oakley Best (b 23 Mar 1914). Born Christopher, Illinois (Franklin County)
Milton Best (b 16 Jan 1917). Born in Benton, Illinois (Franklin County).
John Lee Best (b 24 Oct 1919). Born Benton, Illinois (Franklin County).961
Pearlie Mae Best (b ~ 1923).
Delmar Best (b ~ 1925).
Robert E. Best (b ~ 1927).962
Margaret Best (b ~ 1879963).
Hugh Best (b 1 Apr 1883964, d 19 Oct 1951965). Hugh born in Tully, Carnteel Parish, Tyrone County, Northern Ireland. Hugh married Margaret Armstrong (b ~ 1872-1874, d 4 Sep 1916966) on 13 Mar 1902967. Margaret Armstrong was the daughter of James Armstrong. Hugh served in World War I. Margaret passed away and Hugh Best remarried to Susanna Tweedy on 9 Nov 1916968. Hugh Best lived in Bangor, Northern Ireland later in life. Hugh Best died in 1951 and is interred in St. Mark’s graveyard, Armagh.
Hugh and Margaret Best had the following children:
Edith Mary Gwendoline Best (b 9 Mar 1903) had a child when she was an unwed teenager. The child was Billy Best’s father William Albert Best or "Bertie Best":.
William Albert Best (b 7 Jun 1921, d 14 Apr 2009). William married Velia Brevetti.
William Alfonso Best. Married Dorothy Yvonne Rosamund Armstrong. William (Billy) and Dorothy (Yvonne) lives in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland. William and Dorothy Best have three children:
- Lisa, Fiona and Emma.
Velia Best. Married Gary Martin who was a Northern Ireland policeman killed by a terrorist bomb. Children: 2 boys.
Robert Alfred Best. Married Rebecca Kincaid and they had 3 children: Allison, Louise and Robbie
Edith married William S. Wilson and had the following children: John, Patricia, William Stuart, Margaret Anne/Annis, and James Wilson.
Robert “Bob” Best (b 1909). Robert lived in Belfast969.
William “Willie” Best (b 1904). William lived in London.
John Harold Best (b 1905). John lived in London.
Harry Best (b 1907). Harry lived in Africa.
Margaret "Mamie" Best (b 1912).
Margaret Best passed away and Hugh Best married Susan Tweedy and they had the following childen:
Eleanor Frances (b 1918)
Richard Best (b 1920). Richard lived in London.
Thomas Best (b 3 Mar 1885970, 27 Dec 1951971). Born in Northern Ireland. Thomas married Sarah Steenson (b 21 Apr 1887972) on 1 Apr 1907973. Thomas, Sarah and son Alexander immigrated to the United States in between 1911 and 1914 based on census records974. In 1920 they were living at 1305 Pearl St. in Tulsa, Oklahoma975. Sarah and Alexander appear in the 1911 Irish Census and were living in Isabella Best’s84 house at House No 8, Dernabane (Aughnacloy rural), Tyrone County, Northern Ireland along with Thomas’ sister Florence. By 1951 Thomas and Sarah were living at 2401 E. 54th Place, Tulsa, Oklahoma when Thomas passed. Tom worked for Mid-Continent Refinery in Tulsa. They had four children.
Alexander Best (b 16 Jan 1908, d 26 Aug 1975976). Alexander born in Northern Ireland.
Florence Best (b ~ 1919). Born in Oklahoma.
Maurine Best (b ~ 1921). Born in Oklahoma and lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Maurine went to Central High School with cousins Daphne Best (George Best’s daughter) and Joseph Best (William Robert Best’s son)977.
Thomas Best (b ~ 1924).978 Born in Oklahoma.979
Anne85 Best (b ~ 1886980). Anne was listed as living with her mother Isabella Best in the 1901 Irish Census and she is not listed in the 1911 Irish Census. Anne married Charles J. McClure and had two sons. They lived in Denver, Colorado according to Daphne Best.
They had the following children according to Daphne Best:
William Robert Best (b 9 Dec 1888982, d 27 Nov 1954983). Born in Northern Ireland. William R. Best married Mary Margaret (unknown) (b 25 Jul 1882984, d 1 Jan 1966985). William Robert Best immigrated to the U.S. in 1904.
[To be described in more detail later]
Joseph A. Best (b 28 Jun 1919, d 13 May 1988) [To be described in more detail later]
William Clancy Best(b 4 Dec 1922, d 23 Jun 1995) [To be described in more detail later]
Isabella86 Best (b 25 Apr 1889986, d Mar 1966987). Born in Northern Ireland. Isabella was apparently named after her mother. Isabelle married Benjamin Sidebotham (b 10 Jan 1890, d Oct 1962988). I believe she immigrated to the U.S. in 1907 based on Census records. There is an immigration record for Isabella Best from Aughnacloy, N. Ireland for July 1, 1907 (S. S. Umbria) that seems to match her description. In this immigration record it states she was 16 years old and going to stay with her brother John Best in Chicago, Illinois.
Based on family information Isabella lived in Illinois and died in Cook County, Illinois, This is validated by 1920 and 1930 census records. In 1930 this family was living at 5446 Lake Park Avenue, Chicago, Illinois and Ben Sidebotham was an auto mechanic.
Isabella and Benjamin Sidebotham had at least the following children:
Louise Sidebotham (b ~ 1910).
Ben Sidebotham (b ~ 1913).989
Albert Sidebotham (b ~ 1922)
Florence Sidebotham (b 14 Dec 1921)990
Samuel Best (b ~ 1890991). Born in Northern Ireland.
George Best (b Oct 15 1892992, d 3 Mar 1956993). Born in Northern Ireland. George married Louisa Annie994 Martin (b 22 Jun 1894, d 3 Dec 1989995) and had one child. Louisa Martin was the daughter of John Martin996 based on the April 18, 1925 immigration record for Louisa and Daphne Best. They sailed to the U.S. on the ship Mauretania that departed from Southampton, England. The record indicates their last residence was with Louisa’s father John Martin at 18 Church Street, Slough, England (which is west of London) and their destination was Tulsa, Oklahoma997. Louisa was listed as married so George Best must have immigrated separately. There is a 1923 immigration record for George Best but for some reason his name is struck through (I am not sure if he cancelled at the last minute. This record does not list his wife Louisa as passenger but references “Annie Best” as his wife living at 18 Church Street, Slough, England)
George and Louisa lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. George was a manager of the Horse Riding Stables at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. George and Louisa were living at 6011 South Lewis Ave, Southern Hills Country Club when George passed away in 1956.
Daphne M. Best (b 22 Feb 1921, d 13 Dec 2006998). Daphne was born in Slough, England and immigrated to the U.S. in 1925 with her mother. Daphne was married ~ 1951 to George Matson (b ~1927) who was born in Armagh, North Ireland. George Matson immigrated to the U.S. in 1951. George Matson was Shop Manager for many years at the Southern Hills Country Club Pro Shop in Tulsa, OK. George met Daphne Best at the Country Cub. “Her father ran the riding stables,” he says, “and Daphne came to the Club House for the mail every day at 4:30. I made sure I was there every day at 4:30 too” .
1. George (Geordie) Matson (b ~ 1958)
2. Mark Matson (b ~ 1959) 999
Daphne Matson’s Obituary:
MATSON — Daphne M., 85, died Wednesday, December 13, 2006. She was born February 22, 1921 in Slough, England, to George and Nan Best. She graduated from Tulsa Central High School, Class of 1939. She attended Draughon’s Business School. She was first and foremost a loving mother, wife, grandmother, gifted homemaker and friend to many. Daphne worked for many years at the Lewis Meyer Bookstore, prior to retiring and beginning volunteer work. She was a devoted member of First Presbyterian Church, where she served as a Deacon, an office volunteer, coordinated the flower ministry, served on the Worship and Music Committee, and served as an usher. She was actively involved in the St. Francis Hospital Auxiliary. She was an avid golfer and enjoyed her many years in The Sewing Club. Daphne was preceded in death by: her parents; and son, Mark. She is survived by: George, her loving husband of 55 years; son, Geordie and daughter-in-law, Laurie Matson; grandchildren, Andy and Erin Matson; daughter-in-law, Bridget Matson; and grandson, Stewart Matson. A Memorial service will be held at 12:30 p.m., Monday, December 18, at First Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions to the music ministry at First Presbyterian Church. Ninde Woodland Chapel”
Florence Best (b ~ 1894)1000. Born in Northern Ireland. In the 1901 Irish Census Florence (7 years old) was living in her mother Isabella Best’s house at House No 3, Dernabane (Aughnacloy rural), Tyrone County, Northern Ireland. In the 1911 Irish Census Florence was 17 years old andliving in her mother Isabella Best’s house at House No 8, Dernabane (Aughnacloy rural), Tyrone County, Northern Ireland. Based on the 1911 Census it appears that Florence may have been the last child of William and Isabella Best.
Note: These are the only children identified based on family information and/or census and other specific sources. Other possible names from unknown sources include Harry, John, Mamie and Robert.1001 However I have no evidence for those specific names and John and Robert were children from William’s first marriage. Based on the intervals between children it is certainly possible there were additional children between Mary, Leonard, Margaret and Hugh. If so, they would have old enough to have left home and not be reflected in the 1901 Census. Certainly it appears Elizabeth was the first child and Florence was the last child (unless one born between 1894 and 1898 died prior to the 1901 Irish Census).
Figure 13 Summary of Children of William Best (b 1843) and his two wives and sources
William Robert Best immigrated to the U.S. in 1904. Mary immigrated to the U.S. in 19051002. William and Mary were married around 1917. William’s draft registration card from June 5, 1917 indicates the following:
“William R. Best; Age 29; Address: 1419 S. Quincy, Tulsa, OK, Precinct 13; Born 1888, Aughnacloy, Ireland; Occupation: Deliveryman; Height: medium; Build: medium; Brown Eyes, Black Hair.”1003
By 1920 they were living in Tulsa, Oklahoma and their first son Joseph was listed as being six months old. William was working as a “furniture store delivery man”.
By the 1930 Census, William C. Best had arrived and was listed in the census as “Billie C. Best”, seven years old.1004 In the 1930 Census the Bests were listed as living at 124 S. Florence Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
William Robert Best (b 9 Dec 1886, d 27 Nov 1954) was married to Mary Margaret (unknown) (b 25 Jul 1882, d 1 Jan 1966) around 1917. In 1920 the Bests were living at 124 South Florence Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma. William and Mary were living there in 1954 when William passed away of gastric hemorrhage due to gastric carcinoma. Mary Best died in 1966.1005
William Robert Best and Mary Margaret (unknown) had the following children:
Joseph A. Best (b 28 Jun 1919, d 13 May 1988). Joseph married Dolores (unknown). At his death in 1988, Joseph was living in Bellwood, Illinois (Cook County)1006. Dolores “moved to Hampshire, Illinois from Bellwood, Illinois some years ago”. Joseph and Dolores Best had one son:
Larry Best. Larry married Clare (unknown). Larry and Clare Best had one child:
William Clancy Best (b 4 Dec 1922, d 23 Jun 1995). William was married in 1945 to Juanita Jane Robinson (b 21 Jul 1925).
Juanita Jane Best was known as Jane. Jane and her sister Olly grew up in a family of modest means. They had a garden and “at one time had chickens. One rooster was so mean we couldn’t go in (the) pen.”
When she was about six, Jane also had a severe traumatic experience. She was attacked by a Chow dog when she was about 10 years old while she was putting on roller skates at Mrs. Clark’s house at the corner of 10th and Columbia Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her Dad (Dan Robinson)“was accused of killing the dog but he didn’t”. That house is now part of Bama Pie1007. Jane was lucky that the dog was on a leach. Even so, Jane suffered head injuries which left scars.1008
My Aunt Jane was always special to me. She had a way of making visitors and family feel at home in her house. The first time I heard a Beatles’ album and the first time I heard their Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album was in their living room. When Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, I watched it live on their television set as I just happened to be visiting them. When I got married in Houston, I came over from New Orleans and stayed at their house before the wedding. In fact I left all my travelers checks at their house and we left for our honeymoon without money and Jane had to deliver them to Vivian’s parents to mail to our new apartment.
Bill and Jane lived in Tulsa for about 4 months after they were married. Then Bill joined the Air Force in 1946 and was a 1st Sergeant in the 447th Bombardment Group1009. Bill got out of the Air Force in 1953 and began working for Goliad Corporation which eventually became part of Mobil Oil. They moved to Corpus Christi, Texas where my cousin Michael Best was born in 1953. They moved to Houston, Texas in June, 1956 into a house at 1415 Shadow Bend Drive.
My Uncle Bill was quite a jovial guy and could not stay serious more than a nanosecond1010. He referred to me as “Swackie Jaim” and I called him “Buncle Ill”. Bill later tragically developed multiple sclerosis and passed away June 23, 1995.
Juanita Jane Robinson (b 21 Jul 19251011) was married on September 10, 1945 to William Clancy Best (b 4 Dec 1922871012, d 23 Jun 19951013). Bill and Jane Best had three children:
Judy Marie Best (b 25 Sep 1947). Judy has been a physical fitness trainer.
Barbara “Barby” Ann Best (b 9 May 1949) married Clarence (Buddy) Henry Fisher, Jr. (b 9 Sep 1948). Barby was born in Bexar County, Texas.
Barbie and Buddy had two children:
Jennifer Elaine Fisher (b 28 Oct 1969). Jennifer married Thomas Patrick Lindsey (b 17 Mar 1969)
Amanda Fisher (b 28 Aug 1979)1014.
Michael Patrick Best (b 24 Oct 19531015) married Antoinette (Annette) Marie Hall (b 13 Feb 19551016) on 22 Jul 1978. Mike and Annette had two children: