Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A to Z April Challenge: M is for McCauley


My theme for the A to Z April Challenge is “In-Laws and Out-Laws – Friends of the Family.”  I will be researching friends, colleagues, neighbors - those people who came and went touching my family’s lives in both small and large ways. 


is for McCauley.  Vallye Virginia McCauley.  Sounds like a place.  Valley of Virginia.  And that’s about the truth, too.  Vallye was born and raised, lived and died, right there in the valley of Virginia, in particular New Hope in Augusta County.

She was a friend of my grandaunt Violetta Davis when they were students at the State Normal School (later Harrisonburg Teachers College, then Madison College, now James Madison University).

Like Violetta, Vallye (or Vallie as her family spells it) was in the High School Club for students planning to teach on the secondary level.  They were enrolled in the two-year program which enabled them to teach anywhere for seven years before needing to seek recertification. 

Vallye Virginia McCauley 1923
Vallye Virginia McCauley
scanned from School Ma'am 1923


The description under her senior picture describes Vallie as the epitome of “dignity and womanly virtue.”  Supposedly she was a good writer, but her classmates remembered her as being “fastidious in dress, courteous in manner, and reserved in speech.” 

Vallye Virginia McCauley 1923
This photo of Vallie McCauley in Violetta’s photo album seems to match those words perfectly.  I can picture her in a classroom. 

Vallie appeared in each census year – 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 – living on a farm with her parents Charles and Edna McCauley.  She was the second of 5 daughters.  In the 1930 and 1940 censuses, she was enumerated as a public school teacher.  The 1940 census shows that she earned $800 in 1939.  That equates to about $13,512 in buying power today.  Still not much, especially considering the average salary in 1940 was $1900. 

Vallye Virginia McCauley Patterson
Vallie Patterson
photo courtesy of Michael Lindsay

Vallie married rather late in life compared to women of her generation.  On August 18, 1945, she married Crawford Patterson, a farmer in Augusta County.  

Crawford Patterson
Crawford Patterson
photo courtesy of
Michael Lindsay





The importance of family was evident in the family reunions held faithfully at the McCauley farm in New Hope, Virginia.

The 5 McCauley sisters and parents
Vallie is 2nd from the right
photo courtesy of Michael Lindsay




















photo courtesy Marlin Diehl at Findagrave.com

Vallie died November 19, 1973 and is buried near her parents and other McCauleys and Pattersons in the Edgewood Cemetery in Weyers Cave, Augusta County, Virginia.

photo courtesy Marlin Diehl












Avoid malady and malaise but be malleable to being mesmerized by the maelstrom of magniloquent and mellifluous myths and metaphors offered by the mavens of the blogisphere at the A to Z April Challenge.

26 comments:

  1. Fascinating! i'm no relation, but did my genealogy back 8 generations on both sides, so I just find this stuff very cool. Visiting from the A to Z Challenge.

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    1. 8 is fantastic! I can't seem to get past 6. Thanks for the visit.

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  2. What a lovely tribute to a very lovely lady. It's hard sometimes to find folks when the spelling of their name changes. Makes me wonder if she ever had children, and was she happy? So many questions left unanswered when no one is left to ask... What a great idea to post about in laws and outlaws! Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog...

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    1. I rather doubt there were any children since she was about 40 when she married.

      Thanks for the visit!

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  3. I enjoyed reading this history. I love history even if it isn't mine. It's always fascinating. Glad to be your newest follower.
    Best,
    from a fellow A to Z'er, Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh my -- what a surprise and how flattering. Thank-you!

      I like reading other people's histories too.

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  4. A lovely tribute to Vallie. She does look the epitome of dignity and womanly virtue. In-laws and Out-laws is a nice theme Wendy.

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    1. I love that picture of her sitting in a window. I can see her sitting on a desk in a classroom, posing open-ended questions for class discussion. So teacher-y.

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  5. Isn't that funny that Momma taught with a Vallie too? I had never heard of Violetta's friend, Vallie. V names must have been the in thing during that time.

    I think that is great she taught and had a career, much like Violetta, marrying later than what was the norm.

    Fun post.

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    1. Yeah, I thought about Mrs. Trent too -- I wonder how popular that name was. Maybe I'll Google and find out.

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  6. And another interesting lady to learn about. Thank you for sharing these vignettes of other lives.

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    1. I'm glad someone else finds them interesting, so that it's not just me. Thanks for visiting.

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  7. I noticed several of your photos were courtesy of Michael Lindsay - was he a descendant? Vallye had beautiful eyes!

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    1. He's a descendant of one of Vallie's sisters. I found the photos on Ancestry and was thrilled to see that Michael was still actively working on genealogy -- he had logged in 3 days prior. Usually I find photos posted by someone who hasn't logged on in over a year.

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  8. One of them actually became a teacher?!? I was beginning to wonder...

    Liz A. from Laws of Gravity

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    1. Yes, me too. Two of the girls I've written about seem to be among the girls who attended college to have something to do or to find a husband, I guess. Or maybe they had "old fashioned" husbands.

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  9. With all this about Violetta's friend, Vallye Virginia, in the category for "M," you must certainly have a doozy in your back pocket for when you get to the entry for "V."

    ;)

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    1. Jacqi, that's hilarious. Yes, I have too many V's to go around, so some had to go to surnames.

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  10. I tired to start my genealogy research but it was more work than I wanted to do at the time.

    Kimberly
    I'm writing "Things My Husband Has Broken" A to Z at http://AMomsPointOfView.com

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    1. It's understandable -- you have your hands full taking care of that husband! ;-)

      Thanks for the visit ~

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  11. She looks calm and serene in her photographs, really beautiful and kind! :)

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    1. In her younger years, she did indeed look serene and calm. Thanks for the visit.

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  12. Vallye is such an interesting and unusual name. Great job researching her life!

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    1. It is an unusual name. It reached its peak of popularity about the time she was born, but even then it was low on the totem pole.

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