Friday, August 10, 2018

Joseph Norris Holland - the youngest child of 14

The 52 Ancestors theme this week is “youngest.”

Joseph Norris Holland, son of Leroy Thomas Holland and Cindarilla Darliska “Amanda” Hall, was born on March 2, 1888 at the old home place in Belton, Anderson County, South Carolina. He was the third child of three—Aaron Hall Holland, Lawrence Lafayette Holland, and Joseph Norris Holland. Amanda Hall was Leroy’s second wife. He had previously been married to Amanda Elizabeth Scott whom he married in 1854. Leroy and Amanda Scott had shared 23 years of marriage when she died on December 18, 1877. Still a young woman in her mid-30s, she and Leroy had 11 children together, most of which didn’t survive past childhood or early adulthood. These 11 children, half siblings of Joseph were 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. He went by Joe and was Leroy’s youngest child of 14. I descend from Joe’s brother Elijah Jeffers Holland, which makes him my half great grand uncle.

This is the only photo I have of Joe. Pictured left to right:
Aaron Hall Holland, Joseph Norris Holland (in chair),
Lawrence Lafayette Holland (standing),
William Charles Holland (in front of Lawrence).

I’ve blogged extensively about this Holland family so won’t repeat all of it here. If you’re interested, you can read the following posts:

52 Ancestors - #8: Leroy Thomas Holland – Father; a confederate veteran who fought with Company L, Second South Carolina Rifles, Jenkins Brigade, C.S.A. Leroy was my 2nd great grandfather. Sometime after I posted his story, I found a death notice for Leroy. You can read it here: Leroy Thomas Holland Death Notice. Died at age 56.

Eliza Ann Holland – Half-sister; died after an illness of several weeks on September 10, 1883 at about age 28.

William Harrison Holland (103-2016) – Half-brother; died on March 26, 1890 at age 24.

52 Ancestors -- #14: Elijah Jeffers Holland – Half-brother; moved to Dalton, Whitfield County, Georgia. He died on March 4, 1915, less than three months after his step-mother Amanda, at age 42.

52 Ancestors -- #12: Andrew Turner Holland – Half-brother; moved to Washington, DC. He died on March 18, 1915, just 14 days after his brother Elijah and three months after his step-mother Amanda, at age 37.

52 Ancestors – William Charles Holland – (week 40 – 2015) – Half-brother; lived in Murray County, Georgia. One of the few that lived to full adulthood, dying at age 62.

Aaron Hall Holland – Brother; survived the longest of all of the Holland children. He died on February 17, 1966 in Denver, Colorado after a short illness at age 85. Aaron never had any children.

52 Ancestors – Lawrence Lafayette Holland (95-2016) – Brother; died of an acute heart attack in Alief on August 17, 1934 at age 51.

52 Ancestors - #26: Cindarilla Darliska Amanda Hall – survivor of historic 1900 Galveston hurricane (week 10) – Mother; worked hard to support her children. Moved the family to Texas.

52 Ancestors – News Articles from 1893 and 1900 Corroborate 1964 Aaron Hall Holland Letter (86-2016)

Other siblings died young as well:

  • John Newton Holland – Half-brother; born and died on May 3, 1860.
  • John Louis Holland – Half-brother; died on June 26, 1868 at six months of age.
  • Maggie Idora Holland – Half-sister; died on March 1, 1872 at seven months of age.
  • Thomas N. Holland – Half-brother; died on October 22, 1873 at age 12.
  • Brown Lee Holland – Half-brother; Brown died on April 5, 1890, ten days after Harrison’s death, at age 21.

About January 1891, Joe’s father Leroy moved his family from Anderson to Dalton, Georgia to make a better life for everyone. Leroy worked hard to get his family settled in their new home. Sadly though, he would not reap the benefits of his hard work as he died of pneumonia in Beaverdale, Whitfield County, Georgia on May 4, 1892. Leroy was buried at Deep Springs Baptist Church Cemetery in Dalton. In a March 1964 letter Joe’s brother Aaron wrote to my grandfather, Samuel Jackson Holland, which detailed extensive history of this family, Aaron wrote that he felt his father had worked himself to death. After Leroy’s death, Joe and his immediate family fell on hard times. His mother’s brother, Lawrence Peak Hall, lived in Texas and 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. So, in January 1895, Amanda and her three boys packed their bags and headed west to Italy, Ellis County, Texas. I go into great detail on what life was like for Joe and his family after they moved to Texas in Amanda’s story. It was a hard life and they struggled. But they kept going. In January 1899, the family moved to Alief, Harris County, Texas.

The first census record Joe appears in is on June 15, 1900 in Justice Precinct 8 of Harris County, Texas. His widowed mother Amanda was a farmer. Both Aaron and Lawrence were farm laborers while Joe was attending school. In September 1900, Joe and his family were in the path of one of the deadliest hurricanes in history. They were inside their house when the hurricane hit. Worried the house was going to collapse during the storm, Joe and his family tried to run outside and were nearly swept away. Luckily, the family and the house survived, and they lived to tell the story of the historical hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas and killed thousands of people. Again, you can read about the hurricane in Amanda’s story. By the end of the decade, Joe’s brother Aaron had moved to Denver, Colorado, originally to care for their ailing aunt, Hattie Hall Welch. After some time spent back home in Texas, Aaron would officially move to Denver.

The 1910s were filled with life changing events for Joe. On May 9, 1910, the Holland family were all living with their mother in Harris County working the home farm. The first event was the death of his mother in Houston, Harris County, Texas on December 20, 1914. Amanda was buried at Italy Cemetery in Italy, Ellis County, Texas on Christmas Eve. Less than three months later, Joe was in mourning again when on March 4, 1915, his brother Elijah died in Dalton, Georgia. Elijah was buried at Deep Springs Baptist Church Cemetery in Dalton, Georgia. I doubt Joe had seen Elijah since he left South Carolina in 1895. It was a sad time for the Holland’s, but life must go on. Just three months after the death of his mother and 12 days after the death of his brother, Joe married Ethel Hassell, daughter of John T. Hassell and Mary C. Woods, on March 16, 1915 in Alief, Harris County, Texas. But the grim reaper wasn’t done yet. Deaths often come in threes and that was the case in 1915. On March 18, Joe’s brother Andrew died in Washington, DC and was buried in an unmarked grave at Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC. Again, I doubt Joe had seen Andrew since 1895 either. But the next year brought joy to Joe and Evelyn when they welcomed their only child, a daughter they named Mary Amanda Holland on December 30, 1916. Mary was born in Alief. As the decade was coming to an end, Joe registered for the World War I draft in Harris County on June 5, 1917. He was a self-employed farmer in Alief. Joe was of medium height and build, had blue eyes, and red hair, and noted that he had no defects on his body.

On February 12, 1920, Joe, his wife, and daughter lived in Justice Precinct 8 of Harris County, Texas. As he had done all of his life, Joe was a farmer on a general farm while his wife stayed home with their daughter. Two weeks after this census was taken, Joe died on February 26, 1920 in Alief. He was buried at Alief Cemetery. Like many of his siblings, Joe was not destined to live a long life and was only 31 years old when he died. He left a three-year-old daughter behind. One might think there was a curse on this Holland family

Photo by Sonya Dudley, Find A Grave member no. 47533003


  1. Aaron Hall Holland letter, on March 23, 1964.
  2. Find A Grave, database and images ( accessed August 4, 2018), memorial page for Joe Norris Holland (2 Mar–unknown), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10762247, citing Alief Cemetery, Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA; Maintained by a mommy mouse (contributor 46575145).
  3. Texas, Brazoria County Marriage Records, 1870–2012.
  4. Texas, Select County Marriage Index, 1837–1977.
  5. U.S. census, Justice Precinct 8, Harris, Texas, 1900, 1910, 1920.
  6. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918, Joe N. Holland.

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