News Articles

Be sure to keep up with the latest News and Events. Check out our forums to interact with other Hardcastle Family members, and go to our Facebook page to see what other friends and distant relatives have joined us there.


9/21/2017      John Paul Hardcastle

John Hardcastle

February 20, 1940 - September 21, 2017

John Paul Hardcastle, 77, departed this world for heaven Thursday September 21st 2017 at his residence in Lake Wales, Florida. John was born February 20th, 1940 in Little Rock, Arkansas to the late Rev. J.D. Hardcastle and Florence Thomas Hardcastle. He was raised in North Little Rock and graduated from North Little Rock High School in 1957.

After high school, he worked at the State Agricultural Extension Service in Little Rock. Between 1961—1963, he attended college at the University of Central Arkansas where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree with Major in General Business. He was also a member of the Arkansas Army National Guard for 8 years. John enlisted in Company A of the 125th Medical Battalion and later served in the Administration Company of the 39th Infantry Division.

Following college graduation, he went to work for the United States Labor Department. His career shifted to Safeco Insurance Company, then John worked 28 years for The Hartford, in Little Rock, AR and Houston TX, retiring as Regional Claim Manager in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Music was always an important part of his personal and family life. He began singing and playing piano and organ in his parents' church as a teenager, continuing until 1977. He and his brothers sang and played together in southern gospel style quartets in his late teens and twenties. They traveled and performed before live audiences in churches and auditoriums. While in Indianapolis, John played the organ, piano, and keyboard in the praise band at Lighthouse Tabernacle Church. He and his wife directed the choir for many special occasions.

Retirement life began in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas where John played golf and enjoyed many family gatherings. He also expanded his interest in genealogy research of the Hardcastle name. Along with son Jeffrey, "The Hardcastle Family in America" website was developed and launched. In 2014, he and his wife moved to Lake Ashton in Lake Wales, Florida.

He is survived by his wife Marilyn Hardcastle; children Jeffrey Paul Hardcastle (Julie) of League City, Texas, Janna Kay Craig (Robert) of Sherwood, Arkansas, and John Mark Hardcastle (Karen) of Fort Worth, Texas; brothers Oscar Russell (Reba) and Donald Russell (Faye) of Sherwood, Arkansas; and seven grandchildren Raven, Brittany, Ashley, Ryan, Natalie, Laura and Carmen.

A celebration of John's life will be held at the church his parents founded, the Full Gospel Temple, 3905 AR—161, North Little Rock 72117. Service will be Saturday, September 30, to begin at 1 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Full Gospel Temple for the food bank and outreach programs.

A future celebration will also be held in Lake Ashton to remember John (to be announced).
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6/30/2016      DNA Testing

The webmaster is in the process of having his DNA analyzed through the Ancestry DNA program. I submitted my sample this week. Ancestry says it takes 6 - 8 weeks for the results. I have no idea what form the results will be in, nor how it can be shared. I will post another News item when I receive the results. This could be very interesting for many of you who are related, so check back to the website and find out what the results are and how they can be shared. Please send me an E-Mail if you are interested in this. read more »

3/11/2015      Update on Webmaster

The Webmaster for this site (John P. Hardcastle) has been out of pocket for over a year now. Consequently, I have not done much to post updates or add information during this period. We moved from Arkansas to Florida, and have just now gotten settled in our new residence with permanent computer hookups. I am glad to report that I am set up now to continue to post news and updates to the site. Please continue to communicate with me through E-Mail at, and we can continue to make this site better. Thanks. John P. Hardcastle read more »

2/18/2013      Opal Hardcastle Lehman

On Sunday, February 17,2013 I noticed an obituary in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for Opal Hardcastle Boyd Lehman,age 96. Opal was a daughter of Lee and Elzie Hardcastle and a granddaughter of Dr. John Hardcastle. She has two surviving siblings, also grandchildren of Dr. John. It is remarkable to think that Dr. John has grandchildren alive in 2013, over 200 years after his birth. Opal's funeral will be on February 19. I obtained her photo and obituary from the funeral home website and have placed those on her individual page of this website. Our condolences to her family. John Hardcastle read more »

12/12/2012      Wensil D. Marsh Clark

I noticed the obituary for Mrs. Clark in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on December 11, 2012. Mrs. Clark was connected to the Hardcastle line through her mother. Though I never met Mrs. Clark personally, I know that she made many contributions to family history research in general and to Hardcastle family history research, particularly. When I first became interested in family history research, I connected with Mrs. Aleene Shubert. Mrs. Shubert had corresponded extensively with Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Shubert generously shared much information from her research and Mrs. Clark's research. This information proved very helpful to me in establishing my own research and is the foundation for a lot of information on this website. I think I am correct in stating that Mrs. Clark established her DAR credentials as a descendant of James Hardcastle, a Revolutionary War patriot. Her obituary notes her passion for family history research and notes that she was a member of various historical societies and served as officer in various organizations. Additionally, she authored at least two books in the field of family history research. Our condolences to her family. John Hardcastle read more »

8/8/2012      New Search Feature

We have established a new "Google" type Search feature for our website. It is located on the Menu Bar at the top of each page. With this, you can search the website for references to whatever you place in the "Search" box. The results will be brought up, just like a normal Google search on the web, except that the results will only be information on our website. This should help you in moving around the website to view and/or research persons of interest. Hope this helps. read more »

8/30/2011      New Blog established!

I have established a blog on Google Blogger for Hardcastle family history discussions. I will update the blog regularly on family history events and happenings. Also, I will use this to tell some of my unique experiences while travelling to document our family's history. I intend for the blog to be a forum where anyone interested in Hardcastle family history can interact, share information and get their questions answered about Hardcastle family history. Go to, sign up and contribute something or ask a question for others to answer. It should be a lot of fun. read more »

7/22/2011      Aline Harbour Driskill

I received a call on July 21 from Steve Harbour, advising that his aunt, Aline Harbour Driskill, had passed away on July 20. She would have been 95 in August. Aline was my first cousin. She was the last surviving child of Ethyl Hardcastle Harbour and William Harbour. Her funeral will be Monday, July 25, at Zion Hill Baptist Church in Pulaski County, AR. Arrangements are by North LIttle Rock Funeral Home. I obtained a photograph and a copy of her obituary through the funeral home website. Our condolences to the family. read more »

6/20/2011      New Milestone Reached!

We now have surpassed a total of 900 individuals listed in our database. We have quite a number more to input, and should surpass 1,000 in the not too distant future. While we are not focused on having the most people in our database, we think this is an important statistic to keep up with as we go forward. Our focus remains on preserving as much information as possible for future generations. read more »

5/22/2011      Going Live with the Website!

We put the new website on line today, and made it available for all to see. I hope everyone enjoys it, and will assist us in making it better, with more content. We especially like to display historical photographs that can be preserved, and enjoyed by generations to come. read more »

5/7/2011      Levenia Hindman Crigger

I noticed an obituary in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on May 7, 2011 for Levenia Hindman Crigger, age 90.  She lived at El Paso, AR, and died on May 5, 2011.

The obituary noted that she was the daughter of J. W. and Jewell Hindman.  She was a Hardcastle descendant though Jewell Gibson Hindman (1900), Mattie Cordelia Hardcastle (1874), William F. Hardcastle (1834), Dr. John Hardcastle (1812), James Hardcastle (1776), Elisha Hardcastle (1748) and finally to William Hardcastle (1714).

I obtained a digital copy of her obituary and a copy of her photograph from the website for North Little Rock Funeral Home.

Our condolences to her family.

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4/27/2011      Laverne Hardcastle Ramsey passes away

I noted an obituary in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette this week for Laverne Hardcastle Ramsey of Pangburn (White County), AR.  A more detailed obituary was on the website for the funeral home, so I obtained that and a copy of her picture from that site.

She was the daughter of Garland (1908) and Eva Fay Chambless Hardcastle.  Her lineage was through Garland to Isiah M. "Chub" Hardcastle (1877), Thomas Euclid Hardcastle (1850), William Hardcastle, Jr. (1819), William Hardcastle (1789), James Hardcastle (1755) and finally, back to William Hardcastle (1714).

Our condolences to the family. 
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4/17/2011      Sad News - Ollie Bishop passes away at age 102

On April 12, 2011, Ollie Black Bishop passed away at the age of 102 years, 2 months, 24 days.  Ollie was the daughter of Isaac and Minnie Black, granddaughter of Mary Jane Hardcastle Finton Black, and great-granddaughter of Dr. John Hardcastle.  She was born January 19, 1909.  

In an earlier News article I reported on meeting Ollie and her family when we celebrated her 102nd birthday on January 19, 2011 at her retirement home in Conway, AR.  It was a pure delight to meet Ollie.  I am so glad we made this connection. 

Ollie was buried at Republican Cemetery in Faulkner County, near Greenbrier, AR.  When we left the cemetery, we were invited to a gathering of family members at the home of Patrick Bishop.  Patrick and his wife Esther provided a generous array of food and drinks.  We spent a lot of time looking at Ollie's old photo albums.  We scanned a number of the photos.  One of particular note is of the family of Isaac and Minnie Black in about 1918.  Isaac's mother, Mary Jane Hardcastle Finton Black was included in the photo.  The photo is available on Isaac Black's individual page.  Ollie and several of her siblings are in the photo.

We are sorry for the loss of Ollie.  She was a real treasure, and she lived a long, productive life.  She is gone, but will not be forgotten.  Please review the “View Biography” tab on her individual page for more information about the life of Ollie Black Bishop. 

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2/23/2011      Have Scanner - Will Travel

I have purchased a new laptop computer and a new scanner that is compatible with Windows 7.  I am available to travel (within reasonable distance) to scan old photographs and documents related to Hardcastle descendants for display on the website.  Please send me an E-Mail if you have old pictures and are willing to meet with me for scanning purposes.

John P. Hardcastle

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2/20/2011      New Tombstone Photos

On my birthday, 2-20-2011, my wife and I took a trip through central Arkansas and visited Bayou Meto Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Sumner Cemetery and Gibson Cemetery.  One of the things I want to accomplish with this website is to preserve photos of the tombstones and burial sites for Hardcastle family members and related surnames.

I had been to Bayou Meto Cemetery many times, and had taken a lot of photos there, but I was missing some that I wanted for the website.  So, I spent my birthday fulfilling this wish.  My wife is an excellent photographer.  Her new Nikon D-90 SLR camera, and her excellent eye, were great for this project.

We were able to get photos for family names that include Hardcastle, Weeks, Harbour, Shubert, Gibson, Hogan, Brannon and several other names.

Some people (including members of my own family), do not understand why a person would want to spend his birthday doing something like this.  Oh well.  It was fun.  We had a great time.  My wife is very understanding and helpful. 
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2/9/2011      New Info on Catherine Hardcastle (1868)

E-Mail received from Sheila Bunch, who is a researcher interested in the Worthy/Worthey family line.

She advised me that Cartherine Hardcastle (1868) had married Samuel Worthey about 1886 and they moved to Navarro County, TX.  Catherine was the daughter of Dr. James L. Hardcastle.  The Worthey's were neighbors of the Hardcastles in Faulkner County, AR.

We have not been able to locate a marriage record in Arkansas or Texas.  Catherine and Samuel were listed in the 1900 Census for Navarro County, TX with several children.  Catherine died in 1908, a few days before the death of a baby boy, who was born a few days before Catherine's death.  Several members of this family later moved to Kansas.

 I had previously thought that Catherine died after the 1880 Census in Arkansas since I could not find any marriage or other historical records on her.  This information has been incorporated into the individual pages on the website, and is very much appreciated.

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2/7/2011      White - Hardcastle Family Links

I received an E-Mail from Penny Hill, granddaughter of Pollie Hardcastle White (1896).  Penny is a daughter of Garland White.  She said several family members are interested in the White – Hardcastle family links. 


Garland White was my first cousin.  His mother and my father were sister and brother.  I was in contact with Garland on a somewhat regular basis for a number of years.  He wrote several books about his life and family, and he generously shared these books with me.  Penny wrote me on February 7, 2011, which she said was the 5th anniversary of Garland’s death.  I knew that Garland had died, but I did not know the exact date.


Penny said she will share the website link with her siblings and cousins, and they will try to come up with some photographs and other documents for the website.

I very much appreciate the contact from Penny.

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1/19/2011      Ollie Bishop-102nd Birthday Party!

On January 19, 2011 my wife and I were invited to the birthday celebration for Ollie Bishop's 102nd birthday.  The celebration was held at her retirement home in Conway, AR.

Ollie is the daughter of Isaac and Minnie Black, granddaughter of Mary Jane Hardcastle (1846), and great-granddaughter of Dr. John Hardcastle.  We were priviledged to meet her three sons, Joe, Larry and Pat, and her  daughter-in-law Valerie.

Mary Jane Hardcastle Finton Black lived with Ollie's family for about the first 19 years of Ollie's life.  She has vivid and wonderful memories of her grandmother.  Ollie's health is reasonably good, and her memory is remarkable for a person of this age.  The family has a number of  old photographs, including some of Mary Jane Hardcastle Finton Black.  They have many photographs of Isaac Lee Black and of Ollie's siblings.  Ollie's memory is very valuable in identifying persons in the old photographs.  There were too many to try to duplicate at a local copy store, so we agreed that I will bring a scanner back to Conway and meet with them to scan the pictures for display on the website.  We took a number of pictures at the celebration, and will display those on the website in the near future.

We had a great time and truly enjoyed the day.  The photographs, both old and new, will be great additions to the website.

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12/12/2010      New Info on Dillon Family

E-Mail received from Ron HIlton, who is married to a descendant of Sarah Hardcastle Dillon (1861).  Sarah Hardcastle Dillon was a daughter of Dr. James L. Hardcastle, and granddaughter of Dr. John Hardcastle.

Ron verified much of the information I had on this family, and he clarified and added to the information.  He furnished some photos and documents which are now available on the individual pages.

He gave me the information that Sarah Hardcastle Dillon moved to Arkansas County, AR after the death of her husband in 1926.  We have not been able to find her in the 1930 Census for Arkansas.  He furnished the info that Sarah died in 1932 and was buried in Arkansas County.  He furnished a copy of her death certificate, which shows her mother's name as "?" Banks.  This confirms the first marriage of Dr. James L. Hardcastle, and confirms that Mary Banks was Sarah's mother.  All the rest of the children were born to Dr. James L. and Marguerite Landers Hardcastle.

All info very much appreciated. 
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5/17/1963      it works

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