Monday, September 27, 2021

On This Day - Breeden and Clift


Decatur and Vic

Decatur Bainbridge Breeden died on this day 27 Sep 1952. He was husband of Victoria Jollett, my great-grandmother’s sister.


Raymond Clift
(wonder what he did with all
those pens in his pocket)

On this day in 1900, Raymond Clift was born. He was the son of my great-grandmother’s sister Sallie Jollett Clift.

Wendy

© 2021, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Photo Friday - Lucian Boyd

Lucian Boyd was the son of William Preston Boyd (aka William Henry Jollett) and Hattie.

Lucian Boyd seated left front
photo courtesy Patty Kennedy

Wendy

© 2021, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

52 Ancestors - FUN AND GAMES: So Much for Crowd-Sourcing

Crowd-sourcing has become an important way for family historians to solve big and small mysteries. Since I enjoyed some success in the “Remember Shenandoah Back When” group on Facebook when I asked for help in determining to which street a lot number in a property tax bill referred, I decided to give the members a crack at naming some men in a photo.

Men playing croquet Shenandoah, Virginia 1930s probably
#2 is Orvin Davis, my grandfather
#4 is Millard Davis, his older brother

I know only two of these five men playing croquet. The second man is my grandfather Orvin Davis. The fourth is his brother Millard. I used to think the fifth man was Decatur Breeden, husband of their aunt Victoria Jollett Breeden, but it occurred to me that Decatur was at least 20 years older than they were. This man certainly was not that much older; in fact, he looks younger.

I posted the photo in the group with the information I had. Here are the responses:

Susan: No. 5 looks like Shorty Lam.

Kay: That had the store near the Moose Lodge? Super tall?

Bennie: #5 Howard “Shorty” Good – maybe. Shorty Good had the store near the Moose Lodge. He must have been close to 7 ft tall.

The short thread tickled my funny bone though. Two possibilities, both named Shorty? For the tallest man in the county to be called “Shorty” is just so silly that I can’t help laughing. There was no conclusion to the story. After that, my post just garnered a bunch of “LIKE”s.

Census records on Ancestry confirm that Howard Good was indeed a grocery merchant. He even looks like a grocer in that bowtie.

Unfortunately, there is not much family history about Shorty Good on Ancestry. However, my copy of Shenandoah - A History of Our Town and Its People has two photos for comparison.

from Shenandoah: A History
Shorty Good behind the counter


from Shenandoah: A History
Shorty standing in the back

What do you think?

Now to figure out who the other two men playing croquet were.


 Amy Johnson Crow continues to challenge genealogy bloggers and non-bloggers alike to think about our ancestors and share a story or photo about them. The challenge is “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Wendy

© 2021, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 20, 2021

On This Day - Leanna


My great-grandmother’s sister Leanna Alice Jollett Knight died 20 Sep 1936.

Leanna A Knight
Born
Mar 14, 1867
Died
Sept 20, 1936


 Wendy

© 2021, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved. 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Photo Friday - Happy 98th Anniversary


Orvin and Lucille 1925
Shenandoah, VA
expecting their first child

My grandfather Orvin Davis was supposed to be driving Lucille Mary Rucker to nursing school, but instead they eloped across the state line to Hagerstown, Maryland, where they exchanged their vows on 17 September 1923.

Wendy

© 2021, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

52 Ancestors - On the Farm: Jollett and In-Laws

Austin Morris Farm (1990s)
Greene County, VA

The 1880 Agricultural Census Schedule for Greene County, Virginia is not easy to read. The image is dark, the column headings are fuzzy beyond readability, and the entries look like they were written with a fat Sharpie. All in all, a somewhat discouraging document to plow through (pun intended – get it??).

1880 Agricultural Census Schedule

However, a blank form is available on the National Archives and Records Administration website (www.archives.gov). By following along, I was able to glean some insight into my 2X great-grandfather’s life as a farmer. 

I assume that the other 9 listed with him on the page were close neighbors, and some were relatives on his wife’s side. How did James Franklin Jollett and his wife Lucy shape up next to the in-laws? I compared them to the following:

  • Austin Morris, husband of Lucy’s sister Susan Clementine
  • Madison Shiflett, Lucy’s uncle, her father’s brother
  • Miley Frazier, Lucy’s uncle, her mother’s brother
  • Thomas J. Frazier, Lucy’s cousin

The first set of questions dealt with the nature of the farm itself. All 5 claimed to OWN their farm. None of them claimed any grass land or grass products such as clover and hay. They likely grew hay, at least, for their own use, but if they sold any, they had to report it.

 

Acres

Tilled

Acres

Wooded

Value of

Farm

Value of Farm

Machinery

Value of

Livestock

Value of Farm

Production 1879

JF Jollett

40

28

$300

$35

$125

$115

A Morris

30

30

$250

$5

$240

$30

M Shiflett

6

100

$200

$2

$30

$60

M Frazier

50

180

$400

$5

$40

$111

TJ Frazier

41

100

$600

$5

$125

$190

James Franklin Jollett and his brother-in-law Austin Morris were about comparable in farm size and the value they put on their farm, but evidently Austin did much more with livestock than did James Franklin. Although he was a much smaller farmer than Uncle Miley and Cousin Thomas, James Franklin’s farm production was on par with Miley’s.

The next set of questions dealt with livestock. James Franklin and Thomas each had two milk cows. Madison Shiflett and Miley Frazier each had 1; Austin had 3. In 1879, James Franklin and Thomas produced 200 pounds of butter each. Austin claimed 300 pounds while Miley produced only 100 pounds and Madison none.

James Franklin Jollett and Austin Morris were the only ones who bothered with sheep, at least in 1879. James Franklin sold 5. Austin bought 2 and slaughtered 2. He also reported 20 pounds of fleece shorn in the spring of 1880.

All 5 were busy with swine and poultry. “Poultry” is assumed to mean chickens but it might mean ALL poultry which could include geese and ducks.

 

# Swine

# Poultry

Egg production 1879

JF Jollett

2

12

50 dozen

A Morris

11

17

75 dozen

M Shiflett

1

12

60 dozen

M Frazier

12

5

20 dozen

TJ Frazier

4

5

30 dozen

It seems clear that Austin Morris was much more involved with livestock than others in the family. Jollett and Madison Shiflett depended heavily on their chickens for the production of eggs.

Morris’s emphasis on livestock is further revealed in the reports on “Cereals” and Sugar. He devoted only 4 acres to Indian Corn; all other columns were left blank.

 

Indian Corn

Oats

Rye

Wheat

Sorghum

Acres

Bushels

Acres

Bushels

Acres

Bushels

Acres

Bushels

Acres

Gallons

JF Jollett

10

???

6

41

4

21

1

8

1

77

A Morris

4

75

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M Shiflett

6

100

 

 

 

 

2

10

 

 

M Frazier

5

43

 

 

 

 

10

25

 

 

TJ Frazier

7

250

 

 

 

 

4

50

 

 

James Franklin Jollett reported on his taxes that he was a distiller of spirits. I wonder if sorghum was used in that business. 

Finally, questions about orchards and forest showed the 5 to be relatively equal.

 

Orchards 1879

Forest Products

Acres

# Trees

Bushels

Cords cut

Value 1879

JF Jollett

4

90

100

10

$15

A Morris

 

 

 

10

$15

M Shiflett

 

 

 

10

$15

M Frazier

3

60

No report

10

$15

TJ Frazier

2

90

61

30

$20

REFLECTIONS

James Franklin Jollett always seemed to be able to keep up with the Joneses – or in his case, the Morrisses, Shifletts, and Fraziers. While egg production was important, the emphasis was on what he could grow whether it was corn, grain, or apples.

Madison Shiflett seems like he was just a small-time farmer, but it might be a sign of his age. He was nearly 70, definitely an older man then who likely farmed just enough to get by. The farm size and value were about half  that of what he reported in the 1850 agricultural schedule.

The Fraziers were clearly the big landowners. At one time Miley owned over 1000 acres. At his death he gave each of his children 200 acres. Today the Frazier land is part of the Skyline Drive. You can read about the Frazier Discovery Trail HERE.

Amy Johnson Crow continues to challenge genealogy bloggers and non-bloggers alike to think about our ancestors and share a story or photo about them. The challenge is “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Wendy

© 2021, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.