Monday, April 1, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: A is for Arlee and Alda



is for Arlee as in “Arlee Bird,” founder of the A to Z April Challenge.  Arlee is my creative hero, the godfather of my blog.  Before I stumbled into last year’s A to Z April Challenge, I had no real vision about what to do with my research on the Jollett family.  A to Z rescued me from the dry and dusty deeds and wills, pointing me in the direction of story-telling.  Thank-you, Lee.  I appreciate all the encouragement you have given me.

My A to Z challenge this time will focus on the women in my database, particularly those with unusual names, some more unusual than others.  First up is Alda Beatrice Clift, my first cousin twice removed.

When Alda was just 8 years old, she testified in her parents’ divorce trial.  And what a story she had to tell:


Deposition on file with Page County Chancery Causes
online at Library of Virginia


Lawyer: Just tell me what happened when your father came to the house.
Alda:  When he come in, Mama said she was not expecting him home, and he said I come home when you are not expecting me.  Mama asked him if he wanted his supper and he said yesem, and he said what do you have for meals, and Mama said 25 cents, and he gave her 25 cents and she laid it up on the shelf.  Mama cooked his supper and he set down and he eat and he pulled out a pass out of his pocket and said Sallie I got a pass for Luray.  I am going to Luray and get me a divorce, and Mama went into the kitchen to wash the dishes and he got up and came out there, and Mama came back in the dining room and Papa pulled out his gun and held it up that away, and said I am going to kill you, and then me and Mama commenced to scream and I said Papa put your gun back in your pocket and then me and Mama went out doors, and he followed us out and when we got out to the gate he got his gun out again and then he said I dare you to come back in here, I will shoot your G__ D__ brains out; you or any other man.  Me and Mama went on down street and then we went hunting for Mr. Whiteside, and Eddie Bricker come to me and Mama first, and we found Mr. Whiteside and he went on up home.
Alda Beatrice Clift 1905 - 1982
It looks like she has only one arm,
but it's behind her back.
Lawyer:  Where did you and your Mama stay that night?
Alda: Down to Aunt Vick’s (meaning Mrs. Decatur Breeden)
Lawyer:  Do you want to stay with your mother or would you rather go live with your father?
Alda:  I want to stay with my Mama.
Lawyer:  Why would you not want to live with your father?
Alda:  Because he is too mean to me.















No Appointment necessary to Alight Among the Artists and Authors at A to Z.


36 comments:

  1. Such a terrible event for little Alda to experience.

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    1. Isn't it though! And only 8 years old.

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  2. Oh what a trauma for Alda - I love her name. Glad you explained about her arm in the photo!

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    1. Yeah, that photo is rather weird.

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  3. Wonderful and terrible at the same time. How terrible that Alda had to experience that, but how wonderful for your family history research.

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    1. Thanks Sharon. The whole divorce file is like something out of the movies.

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  4. What a wealth of information you have in your ancestors paper trails and photos. You've given those dry and dusty deeds, wills and now depositions, a whole new meaning through the stories you tell and share here on Jollett Etc.

    Alda's tramatic story is a great start for the AtoZ Challenge.
    I'm so glad I found you last year for AtoZ 2012 and the 1940 Community Census Project. You and Arlee are both inspiring and encouraging. Thank-you!

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    1. Hi Sue -- yes, it's our "anniversary," so to speak. Your kind words are putting the pressure on me now to be deserving.

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  5. After Alda's deposition I bet the request for divorce was granted... Great start, Wendy!

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    1. Thanks, Peter. There were quite a few testimonies that certainly would have convinced the judge, but this one is the most heart-wrenching.

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  6. That broke my heart. What a traumatic event for a child.

    Happy A to Z, Wendy. ☺

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    1. If Alda was shy or hesitant, it doesn't sound like it.

      Happy A to Z backatcha. (It's our "anniversary" -- A to Z 2012 introduced me to the Daily Dose, a blog that I always look forward to for its upbeat outlook and humor.)

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  7. Wow, Wenday ... your "A" started out with a bang. (Sorry, I couldn't help it.) Poor Alda; I am glad that they got out of there safe.

    Kathy M.

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    1. That's why I love you Kathy -- we can be "sick" sometimes! LOL

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  8. 8 years old? That is entirely too young to have to go through something like that - she did a great job with the testimony.

    I might have to try this challenge - looks fun!

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    1. Jump in -- I joined last year on day 3 and loved every minute. I found several blogs that I still follow.

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  9. Fascinating stuff. You touched on two things I love. Court transcripts and stories from the early 1900. Look forward to reading more.

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    1. Thanks. I hope you'll come back.

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  10. I find social history really interesting. How traumatic for a child.

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    1. I agree it had to be traumatic, although Alda sounds as if she was describing just another day in the life ....

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  11. Good theme - this transcript was interesting - I love historical things like this and I'm looking forward to reading many more over the month

    ____

    Find me:
    Blog: http://allysonlindt.com
    email: Allyson.Lindt@gmail.com
    Twitter: @AllysonLindt

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    1. I enjoy a juicy little story myself. This one definitely tops them all.

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  12. What a devastating experience for a young child to have to go through. Incredible. But you know that stuff does happen...sometimes it seems so sanitized when we read about it in an archived document. Wonder what the impact was on the rest of her life...

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    1. The few things I know about Alda make it seem as if there were no significant negative effects. But, of course, who can tell what sorrows are masked by a bright smile in a photo? I do know that she and one of her brothers cut off all ties with their father, but one brother maintained a relationship with him.

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  13. Wow! I am so glad I met you! What an extraordinary relative, and you are just the person who was destined to tell the story of your family. I am entranced! Thank you! You are super!
    jean yates!

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    1. Jean, you are too kind. Thanks for stopping by. I love the title of your blog, by the way.

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  14. Wow! What a piece of history! I love the geneology blogs and read quite a few last year. I hope to visit you again, especially if you'll be having bio stories. Awesome and great job!

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  15. So sad for her to have to go through this. But fascinating for you to learn about.

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    1. Even the sad chapters help paint a full picture.

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  16. That's quite a story. Abuse was so easily accepted back then...

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    1. Oh yes. Man ruled the roost and if someone needed to be taught a lesson....

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  17. I can't believe the lawyer had to actually ask why she didn't want to live with her father! Fascinating piece!

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  18. Violetta always loved Alda. Good for Alda to be able to withstand the questioning.

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  19. I like your theme this year. And thank you for the kind words.

    Have a great April Challenge!

    Lee
    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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