Friday, May 18, 2012

Sepia Saturday: Join the Group

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






This week’s Sepia Saturday photo prompt, although actually a wedding party, reminded me of churchgoers.  The very faithful church-going Methodists in my family have left behind some reminders of how important the church was in their everyday lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. 

My second great-grand uncle John Wesley Jollett was a Methodist minister in Jollett Hollow located in Page County, Virginia. 

About 1914
Back row: John Wesley and Sarah Elizabeth Smith Jollett
This is probably a family picture with children and grandchildren.
Photo courtesy of Georgia Hunter, granddaughter of Catherine Meadows
(little blond girl in middy blouse)
(Click on image to enlarge)
John Jollett was married to Sarah Elizabeth Smith, granddaughter of Reverend William Smith.   A farmer, storekeeper and post master, John Jollett was also the second Methodist minister in the Naked Creek community, taking over when the first minister died in 1846. While Reverend Smith built a chapel on the south branch of Naked Creek, John Jollett built one in the hollow. Years later in 1884 John and Elizabeth gave land to build the new church which is still being used today.

Jollett United Methodist Church
(Click on image to enlarge)
The community itself and the church were named to acknowledge the influence of the Jollett families that originally settled there.

Meanwhile during that same time period my great-grandmother Mary Frances Jollett Davis was active in the United Brethren Church in nearby Shenandoah.  (It later merged with the Methodist Church in the 1960s to form the United Methodist Church.)  She even had her own hymnal.  Her sister Laura Jollett and husband William J. Sullivan are listed among the earliest members having joined in 1893. 

The Gleaners outside the UB Church
1- Sallie Jollett Clift
2 - Mary Frances Jollett Davis
(Click on image to enlarge)
The Gleaners was a women’s mission society.  In the Methodist Church, this group became the United Methodist Women.

Sometime between 1913 and 1915, Reverend Ferguson posed front and center with the Men of the United Brethren Church.  (Today this group is known as United Methodist Men.)  I can claim at least 10 of them as mine.

Men of the United Brethren Church
Shenandoah, Virginia
(Click on image to enlarge)
1 – William J. Sullivan (husband of my great-grand aunt Laura Jollett Sullivan)

2 – Decatur Breeden  (husband of my great-grand aunt Victoria Jollett Breeden) 

3 – Ulysses Jollett (my great-grand uncle) 

4 – Orvin Davis (my maternal grandfather)

5 – Clyde Strole (husband of my 1st cousin 2X removed Pearl Sullivan Strole)

6 – Mitchell Morris (my 1st cousin 2X removed married to another 1st cousin 2X removed Reba Coleman Morris) 

7 – Jim Breeden (father of Decatur and Wesley Breeden, son of Lydia Jollett and George Breeden, and my 1st cousin 3X removed)

8 – Harry Escue (at the time of this photo not yet the husband of my 1st cousin 2X removed Mattie Coleman Escue) 

9 – Wesley Breeden (brother to Decatur Breeden and husband of my 1st cousin 2X removed Minnie Sullivan Breeden)

10 – Walter Davis (my great-grandfather married to Mary Frances Jollett Davis)  


Granddaddy is the first man on the left, second row from the bottom
(they're standing on the first step)
(Click on image to enlarge)
Then fast-forward about 40-50 years to the Cradock United Methodist Men in Portsmouth, Virginia.  There’s my grandfather again, still a faithful servant and volunteer in the men’s group of the church.







Picture taken before 1963
Grandma and Granddaddy Davis are in the second row.
They are the 3rd and 4th from the right.
Grandma is wearing a dark dress with short sleeves.
Granddaddy is to the right of her.
(Click on image to enlarge)



Members of the Cradock church loved a church dinner.  I don’t know what the occasion was, but there was a good crowd at this church dinner held in the old fellowship hall affectionately known as the “Green Building,” not because it was eco-friendly but because the exterior shingles were actually painted green.








For my family service to the community and an enriched social life are what Church is all about.

Grab your hat and join the group over at Sepia Saturday. 

36 comments:

  1. I love your group shots. I notice you have Killeens in your family. My maiden name was Killeen - my family came from County Mayo to Canada, where I grew up. Most of the family stayed there but some drifted to the U.S.

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    1. Cool! I'd say maybe we're related, but I'm not even related to the Killeens. That's my great-grandmother's first husband. I descend through the second husband. But all my little old lady aunties were Killeens so I do have an interest in them.

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  2. This was especially interesting to me today because I'm also Methodist, and I enjoy all history about the denomination. The pictures are great! I hope I'm able to find such great pics for my family's memoir.

    Have a nice weekend!

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    1. Start contacting cousins, etc. before they all get disgusted and throw out the pictures. We're a sentimental bunch and can't even throw away people we don't know.

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  3. Wow, that's quite a collection! The men in the third photo look to be quite a formidable group. Nice to have a record of such a history of devotion to a faith.

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    1. Thank-you. I suspect those men were the movers and shakers of the town.

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  4. You have so much to treasure here! Great photos, all of them!

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    1. Thanks, Karen. So many of the old photos are in bad shape, but I do enjoy having them.

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  5. Cradock Methodist was such a fun church =(

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    1. It WAS! Too bad the neighborhood went kaput taking the church with it.

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  6. That's amazing that the little church is still there. And to have a town named after Rev. Jollett. What a tribute.
    I especially love the photo of the church dinner. They're all waiting so patiently for the food to arrive.
    Nancy

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    1. There were some good cooks in that church. The church cookbook is one I use a lot.

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  7. What a great family history - you are so fortunate to have these photos and to be able to identify as many people as you have. How amazing to know all about the years of service that your grandparents devoted to their church not just in heresy but in photographs.

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    1. Thanks Teresa. I do feel fortunate but have to remind myself of that whenever I read other blogs by people who are transcribing old letters and diaries and such. I always feel short-changed by comparison, but in fact I have a lot compared to other people.

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  8. There is a strong Methodist tradition in the town close to where I lived. The John Wesley preached in the town on more than one occasion and in the Octagonal chapel a year after it was built in 1763.
    So I made an immediate conection with your John Wesley (Jollett) and his family - you've shared a great family history.

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    1. There are a number of John Wesleys in my family, and I've always wondered if it's coincidence or a deliberate connection to THE John Wesley. The preacher that John Wesley Jollett followed had been ordained by Francis Asbury, one of the key leaders of Methodism in America.

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  9. I am not a genealogist so I have no idea how to figure out those complicated relationships like "second great-grand uncle" and "1st cousin 2X removed."

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    1. I know HOW it works, but past 2 generations it gets too complicated to figure out quickly. A genealogy program like Family Tree Maker does it automatically for you. Woohoo!

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  10. A remarkable series of photographs full of social history. The last reminded me that churches, or rather their members, always seem to feed you very well. Must be something to do with giving love with providing food.

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  11. Wendy, this is an excellent article on church history in your area! Somebody will be Googling one of the early churches and will come across your link and say, hey, I didn't know that they merged or have been there for so long! How wonderful that your family has been so involved with these churches over the years also.

    When I was involved in church in the 90's we all looked forward to our Wednesday night dinners.

    It still tickles me though, to think that they would have to say that their church was located near Naked Creek.

    Kathy M.

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    1. The church I attend now still does Wed. night dinners. (Naked Creek -- too funny. I'm sure with that mountain accent, they all said "nekked.")

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  12. How you keep track of all this, I will never know. I sure enjoy reading your posts about it though:) Btw, you've received the Beautiful Blogger Award today:) http://lotsofcrochetstitches.blogspot.com/2012/05/time-to-accept-and-share-beautiful.html

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    1. Did you hear me just suck up all the air in the room? I don't even know what this means. But thanks! That's so sweet. I'll head over and read up on what I'm supposed to do.

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    2. Copy award to desk top, write a post and share a bit about yourself. Pass the award onto other bloggers you really like. Let them know you gave them the award. I think that's all there is to it, but I'm fairly new to this blog award thing. This is only my 2nd blog award ever. It's always so fun to visit your blog, I thought others might want to stop by for a visit too:) Happy Sunday to you!

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  13. I noticed in the photo the person 2nd from right on the front row. He is a man or a young boy. Some wonderful old photos here.
    QMM

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    1. Yes -- I noticed him too and wondered if he were just young or short.

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  14. I did not know that the United Methodists came from those two churches. Interesting and good church and family history photos.

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  15. What a wonderful collection of photos of your family and the churches that were an important part of their lives. Have you contacted the churches to take a look at their church records? I was given access to the church minutes for two of the churches my ancestors attended, transcribed the minutes and posted them online. I was thrilled to find in the church minutes Resolutions written in honor of my ancestors who had passed away, ancestors who had to acknowledge non-attendance, the fact that some were charter members and the dates when they joined the church, etc. It's well worth the effort to learn if the churches have minutes dating back to the when the church was started. You may find some interesting details about your family members.

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    1. I hadn't considered that maybe the Jollett UMC would still have records. I'll look into that. Thanks for the tip!

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  16. Great photos Wendy. I enjoyed reading your post. Good Advice you gave to Dana too, 80% of the photos I have posted on my blog have come from Cousins!

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    1. Thanks. As I think about my pictures, most were found in boxes kept by my grandmother and great-aunts.

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  17. Certainly a different kind of gathering, but if it made people happy and indeed come together, why not?!
    In your third photograph, why do you suppose the man sat askance the Gleaners?
    ;)~
    HUGZ

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    1. I assume he's the minister, but why he got a chair I have no idea. It's like he's there but not there. With the group but not part of the group.

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    2. My point exactly!!
      I guess this was the way they did things back then...

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  18. Some fine group shots that have some interesting faces. I love to "deconstruct" photos like this to let each person shine. Break them apart from the whole.

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