Thursday, April 17, 2014

A to Z April Challenge: O is for Ollie



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 Ollie.  Ollie Nathaniel Bonney.

Ollie was one of my paternal grandfather’s best friends.  They were actually part of a threesome.  Three men in tub.  Three Musketeers.  Three Stooges.  Not sure which.  But Fred Slade, “Kentucky” Thom, and Ollie Bonney hunted together and fished together in the 1940s and 50s, maybe even longer but I can’t verify it.

Their fishing trips seemed to be mainly in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Their successes aboard Ken Ward’s “Cherokee” made the newspaper several times.  Of course, fishing reports were always popular items in the cities and towns here along the Atlantic Ocean. 

 



O.N. Bonney, left, and Fred R. Slade pictured with the large catch of fish they made recently in the Gulf Stream off Hatteras.  Fishing with Capt. Kenny Ward of Nags Head, they made this haul in 1 1/2 hours.  The catch included 12 amberjacks and three dolphins, with the amberjacks weighing from 5 to 32 pounds and the dolphins from 8 to 18 pounds.
Greensboro Daily News June 27, 1948
Genealogybank.com 


The same trip was reported in the Greensboro (North Carolina) Daily News a few days later.
Fred Slade, Ollie Bonney, "Kentucky" Thom
 












The big news on the 1951 trip was Kentucky Thom's sailfish.  But Granddaddy and Ollie were right there too with plenty of dolphin and amberjack for the picture.







I wish I had more information about their fishing trip to Florida.  I’m not even sure of the year.  Ken Ward was their guide on the “Cherokee” making their way along the intracoastal waterway from Virginia to St. Augustine, Florida.  

Ollie and Fred
Fred Slade and Ollie Bonney


Fred Slade, Kentucky Thom, Ollie Bonney aboard the Cherokee, St. Augustine, Florida

Ollie was born April 18, 1901 to John and Martha Bonney in Gates County, North Carolina.  He was the third of five children in a logging family.  But by 1920, the family had moved to Portsmouth, Virginia.  Ollie and his father both worked at the fertilizer plant, Mr. Bonney as a machinist and Ollie as an electrician. 

Not long afterwards, Ollie moved on as an auto mechanic.  Maybe that’s how Granddaddy and Ollie met.  My grandfather owned a cab company and no doubt needed a good mechanic.

Ollie married Margaret Price November 22, 1934 in Pasquotank County, North Carolina.  In 1940, they owned their home on Spratley Street in Portsmouth, valued at $2000.  His parents lived with them. 



The city directories include Ollie and Margaret for many years.  In fact, there is an entry for Ollie N. Bonney in 1993, two years after his death.  That makes me wonder if this was a son or if the city directory just hadn’t been updated.

Ollie died on March 31, 1991 just shy of his 90th birthday.  Margaret followed almost one year later.  They are buried in the Olive Branch Cemetery in Portsmouth, Virginia. 
 
photo courtesy Steve Poole Findagrave.com

You are under no obligation, but it would be obtuse for me to obstruct your odyssey to the A to Z April Challenge.


26 comments:

  1. Fishing exploits in the paper? Really?

    Liz A. from Laws of Gravity

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    1. Not just the paper -- there used to be a local tv show dedicated to fishing.

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  2. Great post! I love hearing about Granddaddy and his friends. I bet they had a ball going to Florida. I guess they were famous in the fishing world!

    You'll have to give me the address on Spratley so I can check it out.

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    1. Sadly, I think the house is gone.

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  3. I have numerous photos of 'fishing trips' from my family. I am most positive bragging rights were the culprit. lol

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    1. Of course, bragging rights are ALWAYS part of the story, along with the one that got away.

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  4. What a great post, and I love this theme! Are you learning a lot about your family that is new and surprising? :)

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    1. I am indeed learning a lot. In doing this story, I noticed that ring on my grandfather's hand -- it looks rather wide for a man's wedding ring, so I wonder what it was.

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  5. Wendy you must be learning so much about your older family members. I love the photographs you have shared with us.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad to be able to do something with these pictures. As a child, I just thought everybody was old. It's fun learning they had real lives of their own.

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  6. I hope you are going to compile all these articles about your family, and the photos, into a book. They are very interesting, and inspiring. You've almost got me thinking about looking up the history of a relative or two. :-)
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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    1. I keep thinking "book" but I haven't settled on how to organize it.
      Warning: once you start researching your family, it's hard to stop.

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  7. It is so amazing to see old photographs in black and white color, with the hats that were in during those times. Also large catch of fishes in newspaper may mean how simple those times were...

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    1. It is fun looking at the old style of clothing. And wearing a suit on a fishing trip?? Really??
      Thanks for visiting!

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  8. My cousins are great fishermen and this long Easter weekend they are camping with their families and fishing and eating and drinking and generally having a good time. They deserve it as they've had a rough time lately. I don't think they will be in the newspapers though!

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    1. I hope they take plenty of pictures. Future generations might be interested.

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  9. What a treasure to know so much about your family!

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    1. It is indeed. Thanks for the visit!

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  10. I live on the other side of the Atlantic, and we are keen on fishing news here too! I like that you have included family friends: they are an important part of life :-)
    Lisa at Wishbone Soup Cures Everything

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    1. It has been interesting to me learning about who my ancestors' friends were. For so long I pictured them firmly planted and stuck on some little farm, but really they had full lives too complete with friends.

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  11. What could have been a 'Big Fish Story' was completely confirmed by the newspaper and the photots taken...what a catch! And what a great story of Fishing Friends. A special time to remembered and shared with your friends and family...as shown in your sister Mary's comment.

    Having been out of town and getting behind, I'm catching up with posting and visiting...hope you can stop by.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. I always knew my granddaddy was a hunter -- he had hunting dogs. It's been a revelation to see him as a fisherman too.

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  12. It's nice to have all this family history. What fishermen your relatives were. Impressive.

    I'm doing family stories too for the A to Z challenge. I grew up on a cotton farm in south TX.

    Sunni

    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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    1. Then I need to come visit. I've met only one other person doing family history on A to Z.
      Thanks for the visit!

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  13. Wow--this is so cool. I wish I knew this much about my relatives!

    Marie at www.everydaymiracle.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind words. And for visiting.

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