I'm going over the "tree" one more time before I upload it. So, my apologies if it's not clear what I'm asking.
What I DO know: I have the Loftis line going back to Job Loftis (9 generations) in South Carolina. That's Nolan Herod Loftis' mother's line. So, that line isn't a "brick wall" at all. There's a genealogical book about the family, so that was fairly easy. All I had to do was match up documents to the line to ensure that MY line was indeed THAT line.
I know that the original birth record (which was a family Bible) was lost or destroyed, so Nolan Herod Loftis applied for a birth certificate in 1943 and deliberately left the father's name blank. From what I understand, there was a great deal of resentment there, and times were different then for unwed mothers.
I have a living relative (son of Nolan Herod) who verifies that the name of his grandfather (father of Nolan Herod Loftis) was Lesley Gentry. However, there are two living Lesley Gentrys in the area at that time that I can find from the records (census records/birth records). There's Walter Lesley Gentry and James Lesley Gentry. Both would have been about the right age. Both were married and had children. One died at 40.
What I do NOT know (as specified above):
There's a family mystery I'd like some help with. My grandfather was Nolan Herod Loftis born April, 8 1906. He went on to sire 12 children, on of which is my father (also deceased). He passed away in 1968. His mother was Emily Gertrude Loftis, daughter of Perlitha Loftis of Jackson County, TN. Perlitha raised him as her own, and Gertrude went on to marry Mr. Edgar "Ed" Copeland and raise children. The mystery is this: Family lore says that Herod's father was a "Lesley Gentry". We were warned that they were family even if no one knew about it. But, in the Hills of TN, everyone knows everything. It's just a matter of teasing it out of 'em. :) So, does anyone know of a Lesley Gentry who sired a child with Emily Gertrude Loftis around that time? If you're a descendant of Gertrude Copeland (her married name) I'd be interested in hearing form you too. She later moved to Nashville with Ed. Both are now deceased. To my knowledge, there's two men I've identified as Lesley Gentry in the area at the time. I won't list full names here even though both gentlemen are deceased. I know it can be a sensitive issue finding out you have a whole family you didn't know aobut. Any help, much appreciated.
My hope is that there is someone out there who either knows the family story, or is a part of this family line (Copeland or Loftis) that knows the truth.
I'm also interested in finding any other men named Lesley Gentry who would have been in the area at the time. The area being Jackson/Smith/Putnam counties of Tennessee. The time being 1905 (time of conception).
If you have any information about where those two men resided, what kind of interaction they might have had with Emily Gertrude Loftis and family (Her Mother is Perlitha Loftis), that might help. I know there's no way to know fer sure, but if there are Loftis/Gentry's out there who would like to find out the truth...please contact me.
I've had my DNA tested and I'm waiting for the paternal line, so that may help. At least I hope so.
Thanks all, for your assistance, and for reading this rather long post! :)