Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Men of the Eastwind #4

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.

Unknown sailor on USCGC Eastwind 1946 or 47  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com


When my dad was stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eastwind in 1946-47, he took pictures of his shipmates during tours to Thule, Greenland but didn’t provide names.  Maybe the family of these sailors will find my blog and share their story.



© 2015, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


Monday, January 26, 2015

52 Ancestors: #4 - Lester Randall MARSH Birthday Buddy

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued a challenge:  write one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.  It can be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem – anything that focuses on one ancestor.



This week’s theme is to focus on a relative who shares my birthday (not counting the year, of course).  There are five candidates, but one died at age 2, one woman didn’t live long enough for her name to appear in a census, and the others are still living.  So by default, the dubious honor goes to my third cousin twice removed Lester Randall Marsh.

One of twelve children, Lester was born to Benjamin Franklin Marsh and Alice Salisbury on May 27, 1903 in Madison County, Virginia.  He was the grandson of Peachy Lamb and Layton Marsh, and great-grandson of Lucy Walker JOLLETT and Peter Marsh of nearby Orange County.

Lester grew up on a farm.  Apparently Benjamin did not own his farm as he was listed as a “farm laborer,” rather than farmer; also the 1910 census indicated that he was NOT self-employed.

Lester’s parents and oldest brother could neither read nor write, but the rest of the Marsh children received an education, at least enough to say they attended school and could read and write.

By 1920, Benjamin was able to obtain a mortgage on a house for the family, but still he and the older boys worked for other people.  Lester and the younger children attended school.

Lester R and Mabel Marsh family  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Lester and Mabel Marsh
Oldest to youngest: Mary, Bernice,
Edith, Helen
Photo courtesy Trisha Steel on Ancestry
In 1926 Lester took on a ready-made family when he married twice-widowed Bessie Mabel Floyd Meacham Anderson.  She had four daughters, but apparently Lester and Mabel had no children together.  In 1930 the family was living in a rented house on Fairview Avenue in Manassas, Virginia, where Lester was working as a house painter.

At least by 1935, Lester and family had moved to Elon in Amherst County.  Lester was a painter for the railroad, a position that commanded a respectable salary for the times at $1200 a year.

City directories indicate that Lester and Mable moved to Alexandria, Virginia between 1940 and 1947.  Lester worked as a fireman, possibly for the railroad since in 1953 he was listed as an engineer.

Mabel and Lester are buried together at Fort Hill Memorial Park in Lynchburg, Virginia.


Lester R. and Mabel Marsh Tombstone Lynchburg, VA  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Lester R. Marsh
27 May 1903 - 25 Sep 1993
Mabel B. Marsh
8 Nov 1896 - 1982
Findagrave.com courtesy Joan Mays



© 2015, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sepia Saturday: Safe and Effective

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.



This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt, a vintage ad, is tailor-made for a post I have wanted to write for some time.  Mine is not an advertisement for horse shoes; it’s for cough syrup.  What makes the ad unique though is the testimony of the wife of my first cousin 3X removed:  Nannie June Fogg Jollett. 

Ad with testimony by Nannie June Fogg Jollett 1899  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com


This ad appeared on the front page of the Alexandria Gazette published in Alexandria, Virginia, December 19, 1899. 

Children Never Cry
When they have to take
Dr. Bull’s Cough Syrup

It is pleasant, pure and reliable.  It soothes while it cures.

Portsmouth, VA Jan. 18, 1899
I am never without a bottle of Dr. Bull’s Cough Syrup in the house, because it prevented my two children of dying of the whooping cough.  I think it an excellent medicine.
Mrs. C. B. Jollett

Refuse Substitutes

A.C. Meyer & Co., Baltimore, Md.
Dr. Bull’s pills cure Constipation and Biliousness.
Trial 20 for 5¢.  At Dealers, or by mail.


Nannie June claimed that the cough syrup was so effective that she kept a bottle on hand at all times. 

I wonder if she knew about the morphine.

In 1905, Collier’s Weekly published a series of articles called “The Great American Fraud” in which journalist Samuel Hopkins Adams exposed the false claims made by many drug companies.  He analyzed the contents of some of the most popular medicines, including Dr. Bull’s formula, which included morphine.  

Adams also exposed the dangers of such medicines, which in some cases actually damaged the health of users.  Dr. Bull’s medicine was blamed for several deaths due to morphine poisoning.  Eventually the formula for cough syrup was altered replacing the morphine with codeine.

Later ads for Dr. Bull’s miracle medicine emphasized how safe and effective it was for children.  But the muckraking Adams achieved what he set out to do:  in 1906, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act.  However, it would take several more pieces of legislation to tighten the reins on both ingredients and advertising claims in the food and drug industry.

Whether Nannie June remained a loyal customer is anyone’s guess. 

Sepia Saturday makes no claims to cure whooping cough, constipation, or biliousness.  But try it anyway.  It’s safe and effective. 

Sources:
Adams, Samuel Hopkins. "The Great American Fraud/Chapter 5." Collier's Weekly (1905): n. pag. - Wikisource, the Free Online Library. 4 Jan. 2012. Web. 14 Jan. 2015. <http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Great_American_Fraud/Chapter_5>.

McCoy, Bob. "The Great American Fraud: Overview." Museum of Quackery. N.p., 13 Apr. 2013. Web. 14 Jan. 2015. <http://www.museumofquackery.com/ephemera/overview.htm>.

Meyer, Ferdinand. "So Who Is A. C. Meyer?" Peachridge Glass. N.p., 12 Jan. 2014. Web. 14 Jan. 2015. <http://www.peachridgeglass.com/2014/01/so-who-is-a-c-meyer/>.




© 2015, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Men of the Eastwind #3

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.

Unknown sailor on USCGC Eastwind 1946 or 47


When my dad was stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eastwind in 1946-47, he took pictures of his shipmates during tours to Thule, Greenland but didn’t provide names.  Maybe the family of these sailors will find my blog and share their story.



© 2015, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.




Monday, January 19, 2015

52 Ancestors: #3 - Julia Slade, One Tough Cookie

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued a challenge:  write one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.  It can be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem – anything that focuses on one ancestor.



The theme of the week is “tough woman.”  I don’t know whether Julia Slade was emotionally tough, but I know she is one tough woman to research. 

Why?  Because there were at least 4 Julia Slades in my family.  The only one I’m sure of was my paternal grandmother, Julia Walsh Slade.   The other three were my paternal grandfather’s grandmother, aunt, and sister.  None of the three is easy to follow. 

What I know about my 2X great-grandmother Julia Slade is limited to a thin mix of family lore and census records.  According to family lore, Julia came from Florida to Virginia with her two children, Stephen and Julia.  What?  No husband?  What is that story?

Was she an unwed mother?

1850 Madison Co, FL census Slade family  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
1850 Madison Co, Florida census
In the 1850 Madison County, Florida census there was a 5-year old Julia, daughter of Stephen and Margaret Slade. At age 14 she was with them still in 1860 in Lafayette County.  There were a number of other children as well, but the newest child was little Stephen, age 5.  

1870 Lafayette Co, FL census Slaid / Slade family  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
1870 Lafayette Co, Florida census
In 1870, she was still living with her parents.

In 1880, there is no sign of Julia Slade, and no sign of any children.  But I can imagine a woman and two children being on the road traveling to Virginia and thus missing the census. 



The Julia Slade who was indexed along with my great-grandfather Stephen Slade claimed to be the widow of Stephen Slade.

Was Julia the widow of Stephen Slade?
According to the 1860 Lafayette County, Florida census, Stephen Slade was born about 1855. So far he has not been located in any census after that year.  If he was the father of my great-grandfather, then he was a teenager roughly 15 or 16 years old when his son was conceived.

Julia Slade Atlanta, GA City Directory 1890  http://jollettetc.blogspot.comPossibly he married some girl named Julia.  In 1890, there was a Julia M. Slade living in Atlanta, Georgia, listed in the city directory as widow of Stephen. 


1891 Knoxville, TN City Directory  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com

In 1891, Julia, widow of Stephen, was living in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Stephen Slade was at the same address, 10 Luttrell Street.


By 1895 the widow Julia and her son Stephen were living in Norfolk, Virginia.  They were also together in the 1900 and 1910 census records for Norfolk and Princess Anne County, respectively.  However, in 1920, Julia was not with her son.  She died in 1927 and is buried in Riverside Memorial Park in Norfolk. 

Julia Slade at Riverside Memorial Park, Norfolk, VA   http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
There is no marker, but Julia Slade is buried
between these two graves in front.
Riverside Memorial Park in Norfolk, VA

What next?
My frustration in searching for my 2X great grandmother Julia Slade prompted me to hire a professional genealogist in Florida.  Her early report brought to light the existence of a middle initial.  The Julia Slade of the Atlanta city directory was “Julia M. Slade.”  “Julia A. Slade” was named on a deed in 1885 along with Emma C. Ross, more precisely Emma Cabell Ross, the former Cabell Slade, Julia’s sister.   

I rarely put much stock in initials because ancestors are notorious for flipping the order of their names and for reporting incorrect information.  Furthermore, indexers sometimes transcribe incorrectly.  That said, I want these initials to mean something.  That “M” might explain why Stephen’s mother was indexed as “Martha” in 1900 and “Julia” in 1910.  That “A” might belong to the sister-in-law of “Julia M.”

Questions left to be answered
  • Were Julia M.  and Julia A. the same person?  Was my 2X great-grandmother just pretending to be a widow to hide the embarrassment of being an unwed mother?
  • If Julia M. was indeed the widow of Stephen Slade, why did she come to Virginia? 
  • If Julia M. was indeed the widow of Stephen Slade, who were her parents?
  • How are the other Slades in Virginia related to my line?


© 2015, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sepia Saturday: What's the Word?

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.



This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt features a court room scene.  The writing on the photograph reminds me of a habit exhibited by my grandaunt Helen Killeen Parker.  Unfortunately, that habit rarely included those bits of information that family historians long for:  names, locations and dates.  To be fair, Helen sometimes wrote the date on her photos, but most of the time she exercised her creative side by writing mildly humorous captions.

Like this one:

Unknown potential husbands in photo album of Helen Killeen Parker  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Ideal Husbands, yet to be
Numbers indicate who will be married first


Helen carefully analyzed these male friends for their marriageability.  I wonder if the #1 guy predicted to marry soon was her future husband, Herbert Parker.  Too bad Helen didn’t provide names so that I could determine whether her predictions came true. 

What is most endearing about Helen’s captions, though, is the insight into the popular expressions of the day, roughly 1918-1921.

The Vamp
Through her numerous roles in silent film in the early 1900s, Theda Bara popularized the image of the femme fatale, “the vamp.”  It’s logical to assume that any self-respecting young flapper would want to model herself after this sex-symbol.

Helen Killeen Parker about 1919   http://jollettetc.blogspot.comUnknown man "The Vamp" at Ocean View about 1919  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com





















Monkeys
“Monkeying around.”  “You little monkey!”  Such references to monkeys are still in use to mean children or joking around.  Helen drops that phrase into her scrapbook frequently, as if it were the latest slang.  Maybe it was a new expression in 1919.

Friends of Helen Killeen Parker about 1919  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Helen is the 2nd woman in the row.
Friends of Helen Killeen Parker about 1919  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Helen is the last woman in the row.























Friends and maybe sisters of Helen Killeen Parker about 1919
Helen is the 2nd one in.


Terrible
How Helen used the world “terrible” is not clear.


Helen Killeen Parker's photos of Ocean View about 1919  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com


Helen Killeen Parker's photos of Ocean View about 1919  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Helen is 2nd one in.
Others are unknown.
Ocean View about 1919

Helen Killeen Parker's photos of Ocean View about 1919  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Helen is on the right.



















Did “terrible” signal a veiled compliment delivered with a wink?  Did it suggest some sort of moral strength or upright behavior?  Or was it just plain ol’  sarcasm? 


Don’t monkey around.  It would be terrible if you missed the stories and photos by all the Ideal Husbands and Vamps at Sepia Saturday



© 2015, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Men of the Eastwind #2

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.

Unknown sailor on USCGC Eastwind 1946 or 47


When my dad was stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eastwind in 1946-47, he took pictures of his shipmates during tours to Thule, Greenland but didn’t provide names.  Maybe the family of these sailors will find my blog and share their story.



© 2015, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.