Friday, December 25, 2015

52 Ancestors – A special Christmas ornament (week 52 – 2015)

My mother-in-law, Mary (Athya) Murphy
It’s Christmas day—a special day to spend with family, but also a bittersweet day for me. Christmas Day 2006 was the last time I saw and talked to my mother-in-law, Mary (Athya) Murphy. She suffered from emphysema and was in the final stages of the disease that year. We knew her time on Earth was drawing to a close. On Christmas morning 2006, we made the hours’ drive to my in-laws house to spend the day with the two of them. We arrived mid-morning and found Mary still in bed, not wanting to get up. Rather than forcing her out of bed, I pulled up a chair, sat down, and put her hand in mine. We talked when she felt like it and sat quietly holding hands when she didn’t. Eventually, my father-in-law convinced her to get up and she moved into the living room to join the rest of the family. It was obvious though that she wasn’t in any shape to celebrate the joyous day. She was incoherent part of the day, hallucinating at one point—having a conversation with presidents from the 1800s when she was actually talking to my youngest son and me. When we left their house that night I knew in my heart that she wouldn’t make it through the night. I prayed for her at bedtime, asking God to end her suffering. He must have heard my prayers because she passed away early the next morning.

Last night after dinner, I sat in my chair gazing at all the ornaments on the Christmas tree. Each one has a memory attached to it, including one I made for Mary many years ago. I knew then that my last blogpost of the year would be to share the story of the special ornament I made for Mary.

We once got into a heated discussion as to whether Disney’s Goofy was a dog or a horse. She was adamant that he was a horse and I told her she was crazy, that of course he was a dog. We argued and argued about this until I finally decided to end the argument and wrote a letter to Disney asking for their help. I knew they were the only people that could end this argument. Disney responded by sending me a copy of Goofy’s bio—yes, Goofy has a bio—stating in no uncertain terms that he was a dog. There was my big “I told you so” moment! Feeling the need to gloat later that year, I cross-stitched a Christmas ornament for Mary featuring Goofy wearing a Santa hat and ringing a bell and gave it to her for Christmas. We had a good laugh when she opened her gift and then every Christmas when it came time to hang Goofy on her tree.

I was fortunate enough to have a mother-in-law that I loved. I know many people can’t say that but I honestly can. I was happy to inherit the ornament after her passing and now I smile every year when hanging the ornament on my tree of memories.

Friday, December 18, 2015

52 Ancestors – Max B. King Jr. (week 51 – 2015)

Max B. King Jr., son of Max B. King Sr. and Blanche Cornelia Ellison, was born March 18, 1925 in Belton, Anderson County, South Carolina. He was the second child of seven—Frances Marian King, Max B. King Jr., Laura Jean King, Sherry King, Brenda King, Larry Randolph King, and James Donald King.

Max’s story is a sad, tragic one. According to the Anderson Independent and Tribune, at about 7:30 p.m. while playing with other children in front of his home in Greenville, South Carolina on May 27, 1929, young Max darted around a parked Standard Oil Company truck and was struck by a new “Ford Machine.” The Ford was driven by 14 year old Carol Campbell, the son of Dr. S. D. Campbell of Piedmont, and rolled about 75 feet before coming to a stop. Max died instantly from a fractured skull. A coroner’s jury, led by Coroner Joe Wooten, determined the accident to be unavoidable with witness testimony “indicating that the driver was powerless to prevent striking the small boy” who was just four years old.

Max was buried at Cedar Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in Cheddar, a rural neighborhood located in Belton, at 4 p.m. the next day. He was survived by his parents, two sisters, Frances Marian King and Laura Jean King, and his grandparents Walter Monroe King and Minnie Lee (Holland) King of Belton.

Friday, December 11, 2015

52 Ancestors – Chris' Christmas stocking – a family heirloom (week 50 – 2015)

Today’s blog post won’t be a timeline of an ancestor’s life. Instead, I thought I’d share the story of my oldest son’s Christmas stocking—one of our newer family heirlooms.

Christopher was born in January 1984. At the time I did cross-stitch in my spare time so decided to make him a Christmas stocking. I hadn’t been doing cross-stitch for long and don’t think I really knew what I was getting into. If I had, I might not have started the project. It was a big project for a new mother and full-time working woman. But I didn’t let that stop me and got started that same year. As you can see from my signature in the photo below, it took two years to finish the stocking. Now that I look back, I wish I had signed it with my actual name instead of “Mommy” and added the “19” in front the “84/85.”I’ll consider that a lesson learned. Anyway, once the cross-stitch part of the project was finished, it was time to figure out the next step—turning it into a stocking. I didn’t sew so what was I thinking! But as luck would have it, my office mate Evelyn did. Another hobby I had at that time was making and painting ceramic Christmas ornaments. So Evelyn and I made a deal—I would make her 12 ceramic Christmas ornaments and she would turn my work of art into a stocking. Then I had to figure out what kind of material to use for the back and lining of the stocking. Again, as luck would have it, my co-worker and still friend Jan had an old red velvet dress lined with red satin which she contributed to the project. So Evelyn and I both got busy—she began sewing and I started pouring, cleaning, and painting the 12 ornaments. By the time Christmas rolled around in 1985, we had a beautiful stocking for Chris and it still hangs in our house today.

My youngest son Kevin was born in 1987. Of course, I thought about making a cross-stitch Christmas stocking for him as well. By this time though, I was just too busy raising two children and working full time. I had good intentions and actually bought a pattern and material to make the stocking—but it still sits waiting to be made. I eventually bought a “temporary” stocking for Kevin. I purposely picked one that was larger than Chris’ hoping that would make up for it not being handmade. We’re still using that stocking for Kevin and I feel a little guilt every year when pull it out of the box and hang it. Hopefully he doesn’t hold that against me!

The photo on the left shows the satin lining.
The photo on the right shows the red velvet back.
Kevin's stocking

Friday, December 4, 2015

52 Ancestors – James Close – (week 49 – 2015)

James Close, son of John W. Close Sr. and Margaret Athya, was born in Bellshill, Scotland in the year 1905. He was the oldest child of three—James Close, Ina (or possibly Jemima) Close, and John W. Close Jr.

James was only seven years old when he and his family left his home in Scotland on May 8, 1912 departing from the port of Glasgow via steerage on the S.S. Grampian, Allan Steamship Line. They arrived in Quebec, Canada on June 16. On the outward passenger list, they declared that their “Country of Intended Future Permanent Residence” was Canada. James’ father was a miner so upon arrival in Canada, they settled at Joggins Mines in Nova Scotia where they lived for two years.

In 1914, James’ father left the family behind in Nova Scotia and traveled to America, arriving on July 9, 1914 via Class D at the Port of Vanceboro, Maine. From there, he traveled to Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio where he joined his uncle, William J. McCandler. James, his mother, and his sister left Nova Scotia in November 1914 to join his father in Steubenville. They arrived in America via the Port of Buffalo, New York on November 8, 1914. Immigration papers record the address they were going to as 320 Reserve Avenue in Steubenville and that they planned to stay there permanently. His grandmother, Jemima Athya of Garndale Road in Glasgow, Scotland, was listed as his nearest relative “in country whence alien came.” James had a fair complexion, brown hair, and blue eyes.

James’ uncle David Athya, who served as a private in the Second Highland Light Infantry during the Great War, was killed in action at France and Flanders on May 10, 1915. David’s name is inscribed at the Le Touret Memorial in Pas de Calais in France.

James’ brother, John Jr., was born in Steubenville on July 30, 1917. He was the only Athya sibling born in the United States.

On January 22, 1920, James lived with his family in Steubenville. He was able to read and write and had recently attended school. The census enumerator listed him as an “Alien.” A family friend named Della L. Harvis, age 51 and divorced, lived in the home. A student in 1921, James lived with his parents at 641 Grandview Avenue in Steubenville. He still lived there in 1924. Both he and his father were tinworkers.

At the young age of 19, James died at home in Steubenville of bilateral lobar pneumonia on February 21, 1925. He was buried at Union Cemetery in Steubenville on February 24, 1925. James’ uncle George Athya was the informant on James’ death certificate. A Union Cemetery record listed James’ occupation as a chemist.

Friday, November 27, 2015

52 Ancestors – Josephine B. Horne (week 48 – 2015)

Amanda and Josephine Horne
Josephine B. Horne, daughter of Moses Horne and Elizabeth Larimer, was born December 14, 1864 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. She was one of eight children—Amanda Larimer Horne, Jennie Horne, Lydia E. Horne, Josephine B. Horne, Ollie Bertha Horne, George R. Horne, and Keziah Chambers Horne. There was an eighth child but I don’t know its sex or name. I found this child noted in 1900 census records when Elizabeth Horne was enumerated as having had eight children, five of which were living. Josephine went by Jo.

I haven’t been able to find the Horne family in 1870 census records. Jo’s brother George was born in Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania on December 1, 1869 so I expected to find them there. I ran an search but found nothing. Since that didn’t work I manually checked the 20 pages of Apollo census records and still found nothing. Disappointing to say the least since I need to identify the eighth child. In 1876, county land ownership maps for Apollo recorded the Horne family as living on Indiana Street in Apollo. The D. H. Williams and R. S. Cochran families were neighbors. I feel certain they were in Apollo in 1870. I just have to find them.

On June 26, 1880, Jo and her family lived in Apollo. Her father was a “dealer in groceries” and her mother a dressmaker. Three year old Jo was baptized by J. F. Murray at Apollo United Methodist Church on August 26, 1883.

On June 1, 1900, Jo was the only child still living at home in Apollo. Her father was a carpenter. Neither Jo nor her mother were working. As stated above, the census record shows that Jo’s mother had eight children, five or which were living so Jo has lost three siblings. Ollie and Jennie must have died between 1880 and 1900. Unfortunately, I can’t find a record to support that.

Jo’s father Moses died in Apollo on April 11, 1910. He was buried at Apollo Cemetery. Jo and her mother were still grieving when the census enumerator recorded both of them living alone in Apollo on April 15. Jo was a seamstress working out of her home on South Fourth Street. Jo’s mother died in Apollo on May 1, 1913. Elizabeth was buried with her husband at Apollo Cemetery. Jo’s brother George died on December 19, 1915 from a fractured skull and other injuries caused after being struck by a locomotive on the Conemaugh Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad at the West Apollo Crossing. He was buried at Vandergrift Cemetery in Vandergrift, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

I believe this photo is of Josephine and her sister Amanda.
Would love to know if anyone agrees with me.
On January 2, 1920, Jo lived alone on South Fourth Street in a home she owned. She supported herself as a dressmaker out of her home. Jo’s sister Lydia died in Pittsburgh on October 2, 1923. She was buried at Vandergrift Cemetery.

I can’t find Jo in 1930 census records. I’ve looked through the almost 2,000 records in Pennsylvania but found nothing. Perhaps she lived in another state but I doubt that.

On April 15, 1940, Jo rented a home on North Fourth Street in Apollo, next door to George and Bertha (Smith) Athya. Bertha Athya, her niece, was the daughter of Amanda Horne Smith, Jo’s sister. The census enumerator didn’t record an occupation so she must have retired from her dressmaking business by then. After all, she was 75 years old.

Jo died of mitral stenosis at the age of 76 in Apollo on March 24, 1941. She was buried at Apollo Cemetery on March 26. She lived at 213 South Second Street in Apollo at the time of her death.

Jo was deaf and never married. She was the sister of my husband’s great-grandmother Amanda Larimer Horne Smith.

Friday, November 20, 2015

52 Ancestors – Willie Marion George (week 47 – 2015)

Willie Marion George
Willie Marion George, daughter of James England George and Gussie Annette McCarty, was born May 21, 1899 in Georgia, most likely Greene County. She was the oldest child of six—Willie Marion George, Raleigh M. George, Mary Lou George, James Otis George, Gussie O. George, and Guy Walton George. She went by Marion.

On June 12, 1900, Marion and her family lived in the Branch District of Greene County with her widowed grandfather William Harris McCarty. The census enumerator recorded her as William’s grandson, William M. George, although he put an “F” in the “Sex” column.

On April 15, 1910, the family lived on Main Street in Penfield, Greene County, Georgia. Marion’s grandfather William and her uncle Hayden George lived in the home with them. Marion’s mother gave birth to a daughter, Gussie O. George, on May 12, 1910 in Greene County. Baby Gussie died on July 31, 1910 and was buried at Penfield Cemetery in Penfield. On September 19 that same year, Hayden married Lillie Della Lankford, sister to my great-grandmother Alice Beman Lankford.

Willie Marion George,
William Harris McCarthy,
and Mary Lou George
Penfield, Georgia
On January 19, 1920, Marion and her family lived on Bowling Green Road in Stephens, Oglethorpe County, Georgia. She was enumerated as Willie M. George. Although Marion was 21 years old at the time, she was not working. Her father was an operator in an auto garage. Marion’s grandfather William McCarty, now 77 years old, was still living in the home with the family.

By April 25, 1930, Marion and her family had moved back to Penfield. Marion was 27 years old and not working. Three siblings were still in the home—Mary Lou, James, and Guy. Her father supported the family as a farmer with the help of James, a laborer on a farm.

Still at home at the age of 40, Marion and her family lived at Penfield and Woodville Roads in Penfield on April 13, 1940. The enumerator didn’t list an occupation for Marion. Her brother James and his wife Thelma lived in the home as well.

Marion’s father died in Greene County on August 18, 1960. Her mother died in Penfield on January 20, 1967. Both were buried at Penfield Cemetery in Penfield.

About 1972, Marion married John Wesley Herrington from Greshamville, Greene County, Georgia. She was 73 years old and this was her first marriage. I’ve been told John had been married several times before Marion but I only find a record for one wife—Willie Bea Strickland, who died in 1963. Willie must have been a common name for a woman in the late 1890’s as I see that both women had that as their first name. John died in Greene County on February 19, 1981 and was buried at Greshamville Cemetery in Greshamville with his previous wife Willie.

Marion died in Penfield on February 16, 1982. She was buried at Penfield Cemetery along with other family members. Her tombstone reads Willie Marion George and does not list her married name.

The group photo was taken on the steps of Penfield Baptist (old Mercer) Church. The third woman in the second row (center) is Marion George. Her mother Gussie is in the back row just above the left side of Marion's hat brim.

Friday, November 13, 2015

52 Ancestors – Walter Thomas McEver (week 46 – 2015)

Walter Thomas McEver
The photo of the sailor to the right is another find from my father’s house last week so I thought it appropriate to blog about him this week.

Walter Thomas McEver, son of Brice McEver and Eleanor Estelle Burnette, was born November 26, 1928 in Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia. He was the first born child of nine—Walter Thomas McEver, Lena Mae McEver, Nancy Elizabeth McEver, Mildred McEver, Roy Lee McEver, Raymond Arthur McEver, Dillard Oscar McEver, Sara Anne McEver, and Jean McEver.

On May 10, 1930, one year old Walter and his family lived in Oakland, Greene County, Georgia. His mother was 19 years old so that meant she was 18 when she had Walter. His father, age 32, was a laborer in a mill. Walter’s uncle Frank McEver and aunt Lula McEver (sister to Frank and Brice) lived next door.

On April 30, 1940, Walter and his family lived in Penfield, Greene County, Georgia. His father was a laborer in a school building. On October 20, 1948 just before his 20th birthday, Walter enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Walter’s brother Dillard died in Henry County, Georgia on September 24, 1951. He was buried at Salem Baptist Church Cemetery in McDonough, Henry County, Georgia.

After eight years of service, Walter was released from the U.S. Navy on November 16, 1956.

Walter’s mother Eleanor died in Fulton County, Georgia on April 25, 1963. His father died in McDonough on May 8, 1976. Both were buried at Salem Baptist Church Cemetery in McDonough.

Walter died on January 4, 1988 of emphysema at the age of 59 in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia. He lived in Henry County at the time of his death. Walter was buried in the family plot at Salem Baptist Church Cemetery. He never married.

Friday, November 6, 2015

52 Ancestors – Hidden Family Treasure – (week 45 – 2015)

I’m visiting family in my home state of Georgia this week and early in the week spent a day helping clear out my 89 year old Daddy’s house. He’s been living in an assisted living facility for the past two years, leaving his house sitting empty. After a recent heart-to-heart talk with my sister and his doctor, Daddy finally agreed that it was time to sell his house. I’m sure he doesn’t want to sell it but he agreed it’s time. Houses don’t like to sit empty.

Over the past 15 or so years, Daddy has been sharing family treasures with his five children so I didn’t expect to find anything special in the house. But, my sister and I came across a paper bag that had a few items of interest. Inside the bag, which was in a closet floor along with sewing items, were several letters that once belonged to his Uncle Prince Albert Burnette. One of the letters was actually written by Daddy to Uncle Prince in 1944 while he was in the Navy. While that was a treasure, the most exciting find was a tin-type photo of an elderly man and woman. Of course there was nothing on the photo to identify the couple. Why would I expect to be lucky enough to find that! But after I thought about it for a while, I remembered two pictures from a Jones family reunion that might hold a clue. In the middle of both photos sits Henry Jones and his wife Sarah Elizabeth Tuck Jones. Could the couple in the tin type be Henry and Sarah Jones—my second great-grandparents?

Tin-type photo -- could this be Sarah Elizabeth Tuck Jones and Henry Jones?

Take a close look and see what you think. Note the size of the couple. In all photos the woman is small, the man much taller. The man is wearing the same style suit with a V-neck and white shirt. The woman is wearing the same style dark blousy dress. While the woman in the tin type photo looks to have dark hair, it actually appears to be a tight fitting hat of some sort. You can see a flower on the side of her head. The man has the same white hair (although a little longer in one picture) and beard.

Uncle Prince was the son of Elizabeth Jones, daughter of Henry and Sarah Jones, so it makes sense that he would have a photo of them. Did we stumble on a hidden family treasure? Does anyone out there agree with me? I’d love to hear what others think.

Henry Jones (no. 1) and his wife Sarah Elizabeth Tuck Jones (no. 2)

Friday, October 30, 2015

52 Ancestors – Elizabeth Jones (week 44 – 2015)

Elizabeth Jones Burnette
Elizabeth Jones, daughter of Henry Clayborn Jones, Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth Tuck, was born on October 21, 1872 in Loganville, Walton County, Georgia. She came from a large family of 11 children of which I only know the names of 10—Henry Clayborn Jones Jr., Martha Jane Jones, Elizabeth A. Jones, Bartow Jones, Midda A. Jones, Susanah A. Jones, James William Jones, Scion Jones, Elizabeth Jones, and Mary Jones. The 1900 census record for the Vinegar Hill District of Walton County recorded Elizabeth’s mother Sarah as the mother of 11 children, 10 of which were living. This has been the only record I’ve found for this child so I don’t know whether it was a boy or a girl or what its name was. Elizabeth went by Lizzie and she was my great-grandmother.

On June 8, 1880, Lizzie and her family lived in the Lindleys District of Walton County. Her father was a farmer and her mother was keeping house, common occupations for that period.

Lizzie married Thomas Terrell Burnette, son of Samuel Pride Burnette and Millicent Virginia Overton, on December 10, 1893 in Walton County. The ceremony was performed by W. J. Bennett, Walton County’s Justice of the Peace. Together they had 13 children—Luther Terrell Burnette, Eva Drucilla Burnette, Floria Mae Burnette, Jesse Burnette, twin to Jesse, Willie Loyd Burnette, Prince Albert Burnette, Claudia Burnette (twin), Maudie Burnette (twin), Henry T. Burnette, Eleanor Estelle Burnette, Samuel A. Burnette, and Julia Virginia Burnette. She was recorded as Miss Lizzie Jones on the marriage record.

On June 26, 1900, Lizzie and her family lived in the Vinegar Hill District of Walton County. She and Thomas, a farmer, had been married for six years. The census enumerator recorded Lizzie has having had five children and that all five were living. However, there are only four children listed in the census record—Luther, Eva (enumerated as Ever), Flora, and a son named Jesse (age 1, born January 1899 in Georgia). According to my father, Lizzie had two sets of twins. One set survived (Claudie and Maudie) but one set died at the age of one. This census record is the only time I find a child named Jesse listed. Where is the fifth child? Is that child Jesse’s twin? If the family history is true, Jesse would have died shortly after this census was taken.

Lizzie and her family attended a Jones family reunion in 1908. The group photo below was taken that day.

They took advantage of a photographer being available and also took an individual family photo.

Thomas Terrell Burnette family, ca. 1908

Lizzie’s father Henry died at the age of 78 in Between, Walton County, Georgia on January 7, 1909. Just over a year later, her mother Sarah died at the age of 79 in Walton County on January 21, 1910. Both were buried in the Jones Cemetery in Between.

On April 28, 1910, Lizzie and her family lived in Greshamville, Greene County, Georgia. Her husband was enumerated as Tom and was still farming. The enumerator recorded Lizzie as having had 10 children, 8 of which were living. This leads me to believe the twin story is true. Still at home are Luther, Eva (again enumerated as Ever), and Floria; they’ve added five more children to the family—Willie, Prince (enumerated as Price), twins Claude and Maud, and Henry.

By February 13, 1920, the family had moved to the Walkers District of Greene County. Thomas was still farming on a general farm. Ten children now lived in the home. Two years after Henry was born, Elizabeth gave birth to Eleanor, followed by Samuel (enumerated as Sammie), and rounding out the family was Julia. As often happens, her father-in-law Samuel, age 78 and widowed, now lived with the family. Her son Luther and his wife Etta Belle lived next door.

Lizzie’s brother Henry died in the Vinegar Hill District on February 9, 1921. He was buried at New Hope United Methodist Church Cemetery in Between. Her brother Bartow died on November 22, 1925, in Walton County when Lizzie was 53 years old. He was buried at Bay Creek Cemetery in Loganville.
Lizzie and her daughter Floria Mae Burnette Lankford (my grandmother)

On April 14, 1930, Lizzie and her family still lived in the Walkers District. Only three of their children lived in the home now—Henry, Sam, and Julia. Everyone in the house was able to read and write. Her son Luther and his family still lived next door and had added two daughters to their family—Hazel and Francis. Thomas was still farming and now had Henry as a helper.

Lizzie’s husband Thomas died at age 71 on February 6, 1940 in Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia. He was buried at Walker United Methodist Church Cemetery in Greensboro. His death certificate listed the cause of death as chronic myocarditis, an inflammation of heart muscle.
On April 26, 1940, a widowed Lizzie lived on Veazey Road in the Walkers District. Only two of her children were left at home—Henry and Julia. Lizzie had no occupation listed but both Henry and Julia were laborers on a farm.

Lizzie’s sister Susanah A. Jones Wade died in 1948 when Lizzie was 76 years old. She was buried at Bay Creek Cemetery in Loganville.

Lizzie’s brother James William (Will) Jones died on June 1, 1952, in Monroe, Walton County, Georgia leaving Lizzie and her brother Scion as the surviving members of the Henry Jones family. Will was buried at New Hope United Methodist Church Cemetery in Between.

Her son Henry died on December 31, 1955, in Putnam County, Georgia. He was only 47 years old. Henry was buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia.

Lizzie died on December 2, 1956 in Greensboro. She was buried beside her husband at Walker United Methodist Church Cemetery in Greensboro.

Lizzie’s brother Scion, the last member of the Henry Jones family, went on to live to the ripe old age of 99. He died on April 24, 1970 in Walton County.

Friday, October 23, 2015

52 Ancestors – Otis Elmore Lankford – (week 43 – 2015)

Otis Elmore Lankford, son of William Mell Lankford and Nancy Ella Young, was born on April 28, 1902 in Greene County, Georgia. He was the youngest child of nine—Grover Bennett Lankford, Howard Young Lankford, Annie Lou Lankford, Vesta Bell Lankford, Robert Chester Lankford, Masina Elizabeth Lankford, Pauline Lankford, William Reese Lankford, and Otis Elmore Lankford. His oldest brother Grover, born on October 8, 1884, died on July 12, 1885 in Bairdstown, Oglethorpe County, Georgia before his first birthday. Grover was buried at Bairdstown Cemetery.

On April 20, 1910, Otis and his family lived in Bairdstown. His father was a farmer on a general farm. Tragedy stuck the Lankford family in 1914 when Otis died suddenly on December 29 in Bairdstown. The news articles below provide an accounting of his sudden death.

The Atlanta Constitution, December 31, 1914: Practical Joke That Caused Death to Boy, Athens, Ga., December 30.—(Special.) Thirteen-year-old Robert [sic] Langford, near Bairdstown, was shot and instantly killed by Hugh Arnold, a young man just grown, member of a prominent Oglethorpe county family. The boys are alleged to have been tricking young Arnold, who was returning from a call on a young lady, and he opened fire with an automatic pistol, with the above result.

Oglethorpe Echo, Friday, January 8, 1915: A MOST LAMENTABLE KILLING LAST WEEK AT BAIRDSTOWN—Young Man Fires Pistol Aimlessly and Kills a Boy Some Distance Away: One of the most lamentable affairs we have ever had to record occurred at Bairdstown on the night of December 28. A party of boys were out engaged in a common kind of mischief of rocking other boys that were calling upon some young ladies. Hugh Arnold, a son of Mr. Berrien B. Arnold, a young man about grown, knew of this mischief and hearing them at the mischief some distance away decided to “turn the joke” by firing off his pistol to frighten them. When he had shot twice one of the boys in the rocking party called to not to shoot any more as he had hit one of the party. The boy that was hit was Otis Lankford, a fourteen-year-old son of Mr. Will Lankford. The ball struck him in the head and he survived for only a few hours. Young Arnold was dumfounded that the shot from his pistol had found a mark among the party of boys. He says he had no idea that he was shooting even in their direction and shot merely to frighten them. The boys were not rocking him and he had no reason to shoot any of them. The shooting occurred just across the line in Greene county. Young Arnold has been arranged upon preliminary trial and bound over to the Superior court under a bond of four hundred dollars. The affair is one that is deeply lamented by the families of both the boys and their friends. From the best information we can get it is but an affair of thoughtlessness upon the part of the boys.

Eatonton Messenger, Eatonton, Georgia, January 8, 1915: Greene County: News reached Greensboro from Bairdstown that Otis Lankford, the young son of Mr. and Mrs. Will Lankford, died Tuesday from the effects of a pistol shot fired Monday night by Hugh Arnold, son of Mr. and Mrs. B. H. Arnold, prominent citizens of that section. From all accounts of the shooting, it appears that young Arnold was returning home in a buggy after calling on a young lady when several young boys began to rock him rather vigorously. Arnold drew an automatic pistol and fired into the crowd, young Lankford being shot through the head and dying in a few hours. The funeral and interment of young Arnold took place Wednesday afternoon at Bairdstown. An investigation was held and young Arnold placed under a $400.00 bond.

Otis was buried at Bairdstown Cemetery with his brother Grover. Otis’ grandfather, Robert Chester Lankford and many other Lankford family members are buried at Bairdstown Cemetery as well.

The theme for week 43 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge is “Oops. An ancestor who made an “oops,” or one that you made while researching one of them. (We’ve all done it, believe me!).” This “Oops” happens to be a sad, tragic one.

Friday, October 16, 2015

52 Ancestors – Virginia Kimmel Johnston – (week 42 – 2015)

Virginia Kimmel Johnston, daughter of John Frank Johnston and Emma Agnes Uncapher, was born January 14, 1903 in Pennsylvania. She was the third child of six—Thomas Frederick Johnston, Kathryn Louise Johnston, Virginia Kimmel Johnston, Joseph Pierpont Johnston, Emilie Elizabeth Johnston, and Margaret Meredith Johnston.

Virginia never knew her oldest brother Frederick who was born in 1900 and died in 1901. He was buried at Apollo Cemetery in Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. Virginia’s brother Joseph, born a year after Virginia, died on January 15, 1911 in Vandergrift, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. He was also buried at Apollo Cemetery. Joseph was just six years old. The New Kensington, Pennsylvania, City Directory recorded Virginia’s parents living at 181 Washington Avenue in New Kensington, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in 1911. Her father worked in brick manufacturing. They lived in the same home in 1915. Her father worked in “billiards” at 120 Grant Avenue.

On January 3, 1920, Virginia and her family lived on North Fourth Street in Apollo. Her father worked in real estate and insurance. Virginia, a member of the class of 1921 at Apollo High School, was featured in their yearbook during her senior year:

From the “Classified Section” of the same yearbook:
Dedicated to Virginia Johnston, ’21.
She is a very modest girl
     She certainly is shy
She wears smoked glasses, so she won’t
     Expose her naked eye.
About 1925, Virginia married John Thompson Smith, son of John Milton Smith and Amanda Larimer Horne. Together they had two children—Lois Kimmel Smith and Russell W. Smith. Virginia and John welcomed Lois to the family in September 1928. They gave Lois the middle name of Kimmel which was also Virginia’s middle name. Virginia’s paternal grandmother was Sarah A. Kimmel so this was a nice way to carry on a family name.

On April 12, 1930, Virginia, John, and Lois lived in Paulton, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. The census enumerator recorded Virginia as 22 and John 23 when they married. They owned their home valued at $5,000. There was a radio in the house that year. Her husband John was a clerk in a steel mill. Virginia’s mother Emma, who had been sick four years, died in Apollo on November 4, 1933 of melanotic sarcoma. She was buried at Apollo Cemetery. Virginia must have been pregnant at the time of her mother’s death as her son Russell was born in Apollo on May 27, 1934.

George Nelson Smith, Verda (Hilty) Smith, Virginia Kimmel (Johnston) Smith,
and Bertha Edna (Smith) Athya

On April 5, 1940, Virginia and her family lived in Paulton with John still working as a clerk in a mill office. They had boarders living in the home named Grace Gally and Mary Witherspoon. Both were teachers in the Washington Township which is not surprising as Virginia was a teacher herself. Virginia’s father died of coronary occlusion on July 10, 1942 in Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania after a fall. He was buried at Apollo Cemetery. He lived at 500 North Fourth Street in Apollo at the time of his death.

Virginia Kimmel (Johnston) Smith, John Thompson Smith, Verda (Hilty) Smith,
Bertha Edna (Smith) Athya, George Nelson Smith

Virginia’s husband John died at the Belair Nursing Home on September 23, 1969 in Lower Burrell, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. He was buried at Greenwood Memorial Park in Lower Burrell. Virginia moved to Florida after John’s death to live with her daughter.

Virginia died at the age of 83 in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida on March 12, 1986. She was brought home to Pennsylvania and buried at Greenwood Memorial Park beside her husband.

Friday, October 9, 2015

52 Ancestors – Minor Lankford Braden – (week 41 – 2015)

Minor Lankford Braden
Minor Lankford Braden, son of Robert Mansfield Braden, Sr. and Rhoda Lankford, was born in Tennessee on May 16, 1822. He was the middle child of three—Rufus Middleton Braden, Minor Lankford Braden, and Robert Mansfield Braden II.

Minor was just a young boy when he was forced to learn the hard facts of life. Tragedy stuck the Braden family in 1827 when his father died on January 24 in McMinn County, Tennessee, leaving his mother alone to care for three small children. Later that year, Rhoda moved her family to Gwinnett County, Georgia where her widowed mother Marion (or Meron) Caldwell Lankford and many other Lankford family members lived. Census records from 1830 show Rhoda and her mother living next door to each other so I’m sure they were supporting one another.

In 1840, Minor was employed by the principal keeper of the penitentiary where he gathered convicts on horseback and in stage coaches. Finding this job monotonous, Minor “concluded to follow the fortunes of war” and enlisted in Company F of the Palmetto Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers at Mobile, Mobile County, Alabama on January 10, 1847 to fight in the Mexican-American War. Company F, commanded by Colonel Butler, sailed from Mobile on a merchant vessel on January 15, 1847 bound for Vera Cruz. Eighteen days later they landed on the island of Lobos, 60 miles off Vera Cruz and joined General Winfield Scott on the land and water attack of Vera Cruz until the city surrendered. After the surrender, General Scott’s army moved to the city of Mexico where they fought in the battles of Contreras, Churubusco, Chapultepec and Garita de Belen. In a June 1, 1901 interview with the Sunny South, Minor stated “At Churubusco, Colonel Butler, Lieutenant Colonel Dickinson and a great many of the Palmetto regiment were killed, but we won the battle and captured a great many prisoners, among whom were 30 deserters from the American army, all of whom I saw hung at one time.” Minor was selected to be part of the storming party at Chapultepec. The company fought until they were able to plant ‘Old Glory’ on the ramparts. He was present when the American army took possession of Mexico. Minor stayed with his regiment from the time he enlisted until he mustered out of service in 1848, returning home ill from the tolls of the war. Years later, The Atlanta Constitution reported in the obituary they ran for Minor on February 2, 1913 that he was “Worn out with the long fights and marches, he fell ill and had to be brought back to his native country in a wagon.” He received a silver medal for honorable service in the war and drew a government pension of $20 per month until his death.

On August 2, 1850, Minor lived with his mother and brothers in Berkshire, Gwinnett County, Georgia. The boys, now men, were all farmers. Minor would celebrate Christmas that year with his new bride, Mary Jane Milligan, whom he married in DeKalb County, Georgia on December 19, 1850. Mary’s parents are unknown to me. Minor and Mary never had children.

On July 31, 1860, Minor and Mary lived in Stone Mountain, DeKalb County, Georgia. Minor was a farmer with real estate valued at $1,200 and a personal estate valued at $1,480.

In 1862 with America at war again, on April 9 Minor enlisted with Company C, Twelfth Georgia Battalion-Light Artillery in Stone Mountain. First Lieutenant Braden served until July 18, 1862 when he resigned his command on wounded/sick furlough under the authority of General J.P. McConn in Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee. Minor wasn’t home long when his older brother Rufus, an M.D., died in DeKalb County on May 7, 1862. Rufus was buried in what would become the Braden Family Cemetery, a small cemetery in DeKalb County, four miles from Stone Mountain off Tucker Road. Only four known graves can be found in this cemetery.

Minor and Mary lived in Stone Mountain on August 3, 1870. His mother Rhoda lived with them. The census taker enumerated her as 84 years old although she was actually 74 having been born in 1795. The census taker also enumerated as her as “Infirm.” Minor’s real and personal estates were both valued at $800. Minor continued to earn a living by farming.

The following news item ran in The Atlanta Constitution on October 9, 1876—“Sheriff’s Sale. Will be sold before the Court House door in the town of Decatur, in DeKalb county, on the first Tuesday in November next, one hundred and thirty acres of land, parts of lots of land number two hundred and eighteen (218) and fractional lot number two hundred and nineteen (219), in this eighteenth district of originally Henry, now DeKalb county, Said lands being the lands and plantation upon which Miner L. Braden now resides. Said lands levied on as the property of said Miner L. Braden, by virtue of an execution from the Superior Court of DeKalb county, in favor of William Leltch against James Millican and Miner L. Braden. October 9, 1876. James Hunter, Sherif DeKalb county.”

Minor’s younger brother, Robert, died in DeKalb County on November 14, 1878. He was buried at the Braden-Hudgins Cemetery in Lilburn, Gwinnett County, Georgia.

On June 4, 1880, Minor and Mary lived in Stone Mountain. His mother lived with them and for the second time, was enumerated as 84 years old—this time though it was true. Rhoda died in DeKalb County on October 31, 1881. She was buried in the Braden Family Cemetery with her son Rufus.

On June 7, 1900, Minor and Mary still lived in Stone Mountain. They had been married for 49 years. This census record confirms that Mary never had children stating that she was the mother of zero children.

In a June 1, 1901 interview with the Sunny South, Minor stated “I am nearing the eightieth mile post having come on the stage of action in 1822. I have been variously employed during this long period. I have spent the greater part of my life in DeKalb County, Georgia and have resided on my present farm near Stone Mountain, for forty-eight years. I have been in every county in the state.” He further stated “Let me say in conclusion that I have been greatly blessed in life, whether at home or abroad, on the land or on the sea. I have always had genial friends and kind neighbors to associate with, and a good wife who has shared the joys and troubles of life with me for fifty years. I think we have the best government the sun shines on, and that the late civil war was brought about by misguided minds.” I wonder what Minor would think of our government today!

On November 4, 1908, Minor owned 100 acres of land valued at $1,000. His personal property was valued at $300. Sometime after that, he sold the 100 acres to Mr. F. M. Mansfield for $1,200 to pay his debts.

Minor’s wife Mary died in DeKalb County on June 15, 1909. She was buried at the Braden Family Cemetery with Minor’s mother and brother.

Minor apparently liked to keep up with the news and on July 15, 1909, published the following in the Atlanta Georgian and News: To the Georgian: I am in my eighty-eighth year and I have discontinued all of the newspapers but the Georgian, and I can not possibly do without it. I close, wishing you great success. Yours very truly. M. L. Braden. R.F.D., Tucker, Ga., July 10, 1909.

Minor, now a widower, was a boarder in the home of John D. Kimbrell on May 7, 1910. The home was located at Lawrenceville and Decatur Roads in the Berkshire District of Gwinnett County.
Minor filed an Application for Soldier’s Pension in Gwinnett County on August 29, 1910. He lived in Tucker, Gwinnett County, Georgia. His personal property was valued at $25. At this stage in his life, he had no income other than a pension of $20 per month that he drew from the government for his service during the Mexican War. His application was disapproved on November 25, 1910.

Minor died on January 31, 1913 at the home of Mrs. F. M. Mansfield, a cousin, in Gwinnett County at the age of 92. He was buried in the Braden Family Cemetery. It’s believed he was the last survivor of his Palmetto Regiment.

I note a couple of discrepancies that appear in Minor’s obituary published in The Atlanta Constitution on February 2, 1913. The obituary states “He was born on May 16, 1822, in North Carolina, and moved to Georgia with his father when he was 6 years of age.” As far as his birthplace, all census enumerators recorded Minor’s birthplace as Tennessee, not North Carolina so I’ve chosen to go with Tennessee until I find another record that convinces me otherwise. As far as the death of his father goes, I found a War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index card on that records the death of Mansfield Braden on January 24, 1827 in McMinn County, Tennessee. In Minor’s Confederate Pension application he stated that he had been a resident of Georgia since 1827. Minor was born in May 1822 so he would have only been 4 years old in January 1827, not 6. Based on this fact, and the fact the Mansfield died in January, I’ve concluded that his mother moved the family after the death of her husband. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

I've blogged about Minor before but this time have told everything I know about him.

  1. Georgia Marriages to 1850.
  2. Georgia, Confederate Pension Applications, 1879-1960.
  3. U.S. census records—1830, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910.
  4. War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812–1815.
  5. Sheriff’s Sale, Atlanta, Georgia, The Atlanta Constitution, October 9, 1876.
  6. Miner L. Braden, Mexican Veteran, The Sunny South, June 2, 1901.
  7. Atlanta Georgian and News, July 15, 1909.
  8. Mexican Veteran Died on Thursday—Miner L. Braden Was With Army That Captured City of Mexico, The Atlanta Constitution, February 2, 1913.

Friday, October 2, 2015

52 Ancestors – William Charles Holland – (week 40 – 2015)

William Charles Holland
William Charles Holland, son of Leroy Thomas Holland and Amanda Elizabeth Scott, was born September 27, 1877 in South Carolina, most likely Anderson County. Charles was the youngest child of 11 born to Leroy and Amanda—Eliza Ann Holland, Marion Scott Holland, John Newton Holland, Thomas N. Holland, William Harrison Holland, John Louis Holland, Brown Lee Holland, Maggie Idora Holland, Elijah Jeffers Holland, Andrew Turner Holland, and William Charles Holland. Four of his siblings died before he was born. Throughout the years, I see his name listed as William Charles, Charles William, W.C., W. Charles, and sometimes just Charles. But he went by Charlie.

Charlie never knew his mother. He had less than three months to spend with her before her death on December 18, 1877. She was buried at Neal’s Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Anderson along with four children who died before her. Amanda, who was just 38 years old, had given birth to 11 children in 23 years. I don’t know what caused her death at such a young age but perhaps her body was just worn out. Charlie’s father Leroy didn’t stay a widower long—why would he with seven children to raise alone. On August 3, 1879, Leroy married Cindarilla Darliska Amanda Hall, daughter of Aaron Hall and Clementina Norris Hall, at the old home place in Anderson County, South Carolina. Leroy and Amanda would add three additional children to the family—Aaron Hall Holland, Lawrence Lafayette Holland, and Joseph Norris Holland.

On June 1, 1880, Charlie, his father, stepmother, and brothers Harrison, Brown, Elijah, and Andrew lived in Broadway, Anderson County, South Carolina. He was enumerated as Charles Holland that year. Charlie lost a sister in the fall of 1883 when Eliza Ann Holland died on September 10. She was buried at Neal’s Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.

The spring of 1890 brought death again twice to the Holland family. On March 26, 1890, Charlie’s brother William Harrison Holland died at the home of Jap Vandiver. Another brother, Brown Lee Holland, died on April 5. Both died in Broadway, Anderson County. The Anderson Intelligencer published the following article on April 10, 1890—Last week we chronicled the death of Mr. Harrison Holland, which occurred on the 25th ult., and now it is our sad duty to note the death of his younger brother, Mr. Brown Holland, who died last Saturday afternoon at the home of Mr. A. A. Carpenter, in Broadway Township. He had attended the bedside of his brother very closely during his illness, and on Sunday after the latter was laid away in the grave, he was stricken down with pneumonia, which gradually grew worse until death came. Mr. Holland was about 21 years of age, and was an upright, worthy young man, whose death is deeply regretted by a wide circle of friends. His remains were laid to rest by the side of his brother in the Neal’s Creek Churchyard on Sunday afternoon, Rev. C. B. Smith, of this city, conducting the funeral services.

After losing their land in the early 1890s, Leroy decided to give the family a new start and moved everyone to Dalton, Whitfield County, Georgia. He contacted a friend named George Brownlee there and made a deal to buy a tract of land from him. Leroy purchased an additional 80 acres adjoining the Brownlee land. Around January 1891, the Holland family took a train from Anderson County to Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia. They spent the night in Atlanta and left the next morning for Dalton where they met Brownlee. Brownlee was kind enough to let the whole family stay at his home in Deep Springs for two weeks after their household goods were held up in transit from South Carolina. Once they moved into their new home, they settled in and went about the business of farming the land. Charlie’s brother Andrew was unhappy in Georgia and returned to South Carolina a short time after the move. He eventually moved to Washington, DC where he worked as a government clerk.

Leroy worked hard—cutting trees and clearing land—and the crops did well that first year. That was short-lived though when in late spring 1892, Leroy came down with pneumonia and died on May 4 in Beaverdale, Whitfield County, Georgia. He was buried at Deep Springs Baptist Church Cemetery in Dalton.

In January 1895, Charlie’s stepmother Amanda and his stepbrothers Aaron, Lawrence, and Joe moved to Alief, Harris County, Texas. They had come on hard times in Georgia after Leroy’s death and her brother Lawrence Peak Hall offered to furnish all of their food, free of charge, as well as a house and half of what they produced if they moved to Texas.

By the summer of 1900, Charlie had moved to the 10th District of Murray County, Georgia. On June 5, 1900 he was living in the home of Samuel and Mary Wheat as a lodger and working as a farm laborer. That year he was enumerated as Charles Holland. Samuel and Mary Wheat were the parents of Charlie’s future bride—Sarah Elizabeth Wheat. Both Charlie and Sarah (she went by Sallie) were single. Charlie and Sallie were married about 1901. Together they had two children—Thomas Glenn Holland in 1902 and Mary E. Holland in 1905.

On April 19, 1910, Charlie, Sallie, and their children lived with her widowed father Samuel Wheat in the 10th District of Murray County. Charlie and Sallie had been married for nine years according to the census enumerator. He was enumerated as William C. Holland that year and was a farm laborer.

On December 20, 1914, Charlie’s stepmother Amanda died in Houston, Harris County, Texas. She was buried at Italy Cemetery in Italy, Ellis County, Texas. Two months later, his brother Elijah died in Dalton on March 4, 1915. Elijah was buried at Deep Springs Baptist Church Cemetery. Two weeks after Elijah’s death, his brother Andrew died in Washington, DC on March 18, 1915. He was buried in an unmarked grave beside his infant daughter at Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC.

Charlie registered for the World War I draft as Charles William Holland on September 12, 1918. He listed Sarah Elizabeth Holland as his nearest relative. Both lived in Crandall, Murray County, Georgia. Charlie was a self-employed farmer. He was tall and slender; he had blue eyes and brown hair.

On January 10, 1920, Charlie and his family lived on Dalton Road in the 10th District of Murray County. His 54 year old sister-in-law Susie Wheat lived with them. Charlie was a farmer on a general farm. He was enumerated as Charles that year. His son Thomas was working as a farm laborer on a home farm, probably helping his father. Charlie’s stepbrother Joseph Norris Holland died in Alief on February 26, 1920. He was buried at Alief Cemetery. His brother Marion Scott Holland died in Anderson, Anderson County, South Carolina on February 5, 1928. He was buried at Bethany Baptist Church Cemetery in Belton, Anderson County, South Carolina.

Charlie’s father Leroy served in Company L, Second South Carolina Rifles, Jenkins Brigade, C.S.A. during the Civil War and I’m sure Charlie heard many war stories before Leroy’s death in 1892. Charlie apparently wanted to honor his father’s military service and submitted an application to the War Department on July 20, 1929 for a headstone to mark his grave at Deep Springs Cemetery. It was shipped a year later and still marks his grave.

On April 15, 1930, Charlie and Sallie lived on Beaverdale Road in the 10th District of Murray County. He was enumerated as William C. Holland that year. His son Thomas, daughter-in-law Kathleen, their 25 year old daughter Mary, and Charlie’s sister-in-law Susie were all living with Charlie and Sallie. Both Charlie and Thomas were farmers.

Charlie’s stepbrother Lawrence Lafayette Holland died in Alief on August 17, 1934. It’s believed he was buried at Alief Cemetery.
Headstone photo taken by Kari; shared by CADprofessor, Dalton, Georgia.

On April 8, 1940, Charlie and Sallie lived with their son Tom and daughter-in-law Kathleen in the 10th District of Murray County. He was enumerated as William Charles Holland that year. He was unemployed. The highest grade he had completed was the 6th. Just two months after this census was taken, Charlie died on June 16, 1940 in Murray County, Georgia. He was buried at Deep Spring Baptist Church Cemetery in Dalton.

Out of 14 children born to Leroy Holland, most died young. Only three lived past the age of 60—Charlie, Marion, and Aaron.

Friday, September 25, 2015

52 Ancestors – Edward Francis Murphy – (week 39 – 2015)

Edward Francis Murphy
Edward Francis Murphy, son of Martin William Murphy and Sarah Elizabeth Anderson, was born October 3, 1883 in Mannington, Marion County, West Virginia. He was the 2nd child of 11—Cora Belle Murphy, Edward Francis Murphy, Charles Homer Murphy, Essie Lee Murphy, William H. Murphy, Ella Mae Murphy, Arliff Barow Murphy, Tabitha M. Murphy, Cecil Pearl Murphy, Addie Opal Murphy, and Olive Ruby Murphy.

When Edward was 15 years old, his two year old sister Tabitha died in 1898. She was buried at Anderson-Bethel Cemetery in Littleton, Wetzel County, West Virginia.

On June 22, 1900, Edward lived with his family in the Clay District of Littleton. He was enumerated as Ed.

On April 27, 1910, Edward and his family still lived in the Clay District. He was a teamster in an oil field.

On May 4, 1912, Edward married Cassandra Rebecca Kennedy, daughter of Franklin Scott Kennedy and Edna Elizabeth Booth in Logansport, Marion County, West Virginia. She was listed as Catherine Kennedy on the marriage certificate so I can’t be 100 percent sure this is the correct marriage but I feel good about it. The West Virginia Division of Culture and History website has free online birth, marriage, and death records so I searched on “Murphy” and “Kennedy.” The search results contained eight records with Ed Murphy and Catherine Kennedy appearing to be the logical choice. And, the marriage occurred in Marion County, which is where they lived. As far as I can tell, Edward and Cassandra never had children.

Results of marriage records search
West Virginia Division of Culture and History website

Edward’s sister Essie died in Warwood, Ohio County, West Virginia on May 25, 1915. I have yet to find her burial location.

On January 13, 1920, Edward and Cassandra lived in Mannington. His occupation was “laborer/drives team.”

Edward’s mother died in Littleton on April 1, 1927. Five days later on April 6, his father died in Mannington from a cerebral hemorrhage. Both of his parents were buried at Anderson-Bethel Cemetery in Littleton.

On April 8, 1930, Edward and Cassandra lived on Rymer Road in Mannington. She was enumerated as Cassie. Edward owned his own home which was valued at $800. He was a laborer doing road construction.

Pearl Harbor was attacked in December 1941 and America became entrenched in World War II. Although an old man of 58 (Siri tells me the life expectancy of a man in 1942 was 62.3 years), Edward registered for the World War II draft in April 1942. He listed the person who would always know his address as his wife, Cassie R. Murphy. They lived in Mannington at R.F.D.I. and did not have a telephone. Edward’s occupation was “self-employed cutting props” in Mannington. That summer, his wife Cassandra died of cervical cancer in Mannington on July 31, 1942. She was buried at Gill and Haught Cemetery, a small family cemetery in Rymer, Marion County, West Virginia. Cassie was just 49 years, 5 months, and 13 days old. The decade ended with the death of two of Edward’s brothers—Arliff who died in Wolf Summit, Harrison County, West Virginia on July 11, 1947 and Charles who died in Littleton on November 16, 1949. Arliff was buried at Anderson-Bethel Cemetery in Littleton and Charles at Thomas Chapel Cemetery in Wetzel County.

The family would go a little over a decade without losing anyone until the 1960s when Edward lost three siblings as well as his own demise. His brother William died in Littleton on March 28, 1960 and was buried at Anderson-Bethel Cemetery. His sister Cecil died in Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia on September 26, 1963. She was buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Wheeling. And his sister Cora died on November 29, 1964 in Weirton, Hancock County, West Virginia. She was buried at Chapel Hill Cemetery in Weirton. The family barely had time to bury Cora when Edward himself died in Fairmont, Marion County, West Virginia on December 12, 1964. He was buried at Anderson-Bethel Cemetery in Littleton.

Friday, September 18, 2015

52 Ancestors – Clarence Franklin Snipes – (week 38 – 2015)

Clarence Franklin Snipes
Clarence Franklin Snipes, son of Turner Walter Snipes and Nancy Irene Holland, was born April 16, 1923 in South Carolina, most likely Anderson County. He was the third child of three—Blair H. Snipes, Buren Turner Snipes, and Clarence Franklin Snipes. He went by Franklin and was named for his paternal grandfather, also named Clarence Franklin Snipes.

Little Franklin’s time of Earth was short. After an illness of only two days, he died at 12:30 a.m. on October 10, 1925 in Honea Path, Anderson County, South Carolina. His death certificate records the cause of death as enterocolitis, “an inflammation of the digestive tract, involving enteritis of the small intestine and colitis of the colon” according to Wikipedia. He was buried at Bethany Baptist Church Cemetery in Belton, Anderson County, South Carolina. An unknown newspaper carried the following obituary:
Death of Little Franklin Snipes 
On the night of October the 9th, while everything was calm and peaceful, God visited the home of Mr. and Mrs. T. W. Snipes and took from them their precious darling. He was two and one-half years old, and was sick only two days. Tis sad to part from you, Franklin, but ‘tis sweet relief to know you are in Heaven, where no tears are falling, and
Some time when day is ended,
    Some time when toils are over,
We shall behold precious Franklin
    There on the other shore.

Funeral services were held at 4 o’clock at Bethany cemetery. Rev. N. G. Wright officiating. W. B. Shirley in charge of funeral.
How devastating this must have been for his family.

Franklin is buried in the family plot beside his parents