Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: James Ira and Mattie Bell Sullivan

Tombstone Tuesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks bloggers to include an image of a gravestone of one or more ancestors along with a brief description of the image or the ancestor.

Tombstone James Ira Sullivan and Mattie Bell Claytor  https://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Tombstone of James Ira and Mattie Bell Sullivan
photo courtesy Marlin Diehl, Findagrave.com

James I.              Mattie C.
June 17, 1886       Sept 13, 1888
Dec 12, 1968       Sept 5, 1964

James Ira Sullivan and his wife Mattie Bell Claytor are buried together in the Edgewood Cemetery in Weyers Cave, Virginia. Many of their children are there as well.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Monday, August 29, 2016

James Franklin Jollett's Kids: James Ira Sullivan

As part of my “Genealogy Do-Over” efforts AND to force myself to get crackin’ on my James Franklin Jollett book, Jollett Reunion, I will be researching and writing brief biographies of James Franklin, his wives, and his children.

James Franklin Jollett and his wife Eliza Jane raised at least one more child, but the child was not their own. His name was James Ira Sullivan, and in the 1900 census he was enumerated as an “adopted” child of the Jolletts.
from 1900 Federal Census Augusta County, Virginia
Was the adoption a legal arrangement, complete with court documents? Or was this merely a case of one neighbor helping out another?

James Ira was born June 17, 1886 to Ira and Parthenia America Shiflett Sullivan of Greene County, Virginia. In the 1870 and 1880 census, Ira and Parthenia lived not terribly far from the Jolletts. James Franklin and Ira were more than just neighbors though; they knew each other well having served together in Company D of the 46th Virginia Regiment during the Civil War. Like most families in Greene County, the Sullivans too eked out a living from the land. By 1880, Ira and Parthenia already had six children between the ages of 2 and 14, and there were more to come.

Had a fire in the Commerce Department Building not destroyed most of the 1890 census records, there might be some clues as to what happened that the Sullivans sent their son into the care of James Franklin and Eliza Jane Jollett. Maybe the answer lies in the 1900 census. The older brothers and sisters were married and out of the house. The senior Ira was still alive and married to his second wife, Parthenia having died about 1889 when James Ira was only three years old. Perhaps that is the answer – perhaps the widowed Ira was not equipped to take care of a young boy who needed a woman’s touch.

In 1907, James Ira married Mattie Bell Claytor of Augusta County. The 1910 census reveals that they rented a place not far from the Jolletts’ home in Harriston, Augusta County. James Ira was a farm laborer, and Mattie Bell was a homemaker and mother to a 2-year old son.

By 1920, their lives changed dramatically. Four more children were added to the family. James Ira no longer worked on a farm; he was a laborer for the railroad. Apparently the pay was good enough for him to purchase a home along Paine Run Road in Grottoes, not far from where he grew up in the home of James Franklin and Eliza Jane.

James Ira and Mattie Bell added more children to the family according to the 1930 census, but otherwise the details of home and work were the same. One of the daughters returned home as a widow with a two-year old daughter.

After that, life changed dramatically once again. As of the 1940 census, they no longer owned their home; instead they rented. James Ira was working for the State as a laborer on state roads. He worked only twenty-five weeks in 1939, but what that means is not clear. He could have been sick. He could have lost his job with the railroad and was out of work. He could have been in and out of any number of jobs.

In all, James Ira and Mattie Bell raised ten children and two of their grandchildren whose mother died from tuberculosis at age 22.

No one knows how James Ira felt about being given away as a young boy to another family. However, it seems he was loved by James Franklin and Eliza Jane. They must have shown him the power of love and loyalty. Jollett reunions typically included a photo session of just James Franklin’s children and their spouses. James Ira was right there with them as a member of the family, not a Jollett by birth but regarded as a brother still.
Jollett Reunion 1921 Harriston, Virginia  https://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Jollett Reunion 1921 Jollett home in Harriston, Virginia
Standing: Laura Sullivan, Sadie Jollett, Ulysses Jollett, Leanna Knight, Mary Frances Davis, Walter Davis,
Sallie Clift, Vic Breeden, Decatur Breeden, James Ira Sullivan
Seated: Will Sullivan, Jack Coleman, Emma Coleman, James Franklin Jollett, Eliza Jane Jollett 

James Ira SULLIVAN (17 Jun 1886 Greene Co, VA - 23 Dec 1963 Augusta Co, VA) and Mattie Bell CLAYTOR (13 Sep 1888 Virginia - 5 Sep 1964 Grottoes, Augusta, VA) married 31 Aug 1907 Augusta Co, VA
  1. Joseph Ira SULLIVAN (24 Apr 1908 Augusta Co, VA - 9 Sep 1963 Harrisonburg, VA) and Agnes Beatrice WADE (9 Aug 1905 Albemarle Co, VA – 10 Apr 1980 Fairfax Co, VA) married 3 Apr 1931
  2. Virginia Pearl SULLIVAN (14 Jun 1910 Harriston, Augusta Co, VA - 5 Feb 1933 Augusta Co, VA) and 1) Ernest BRUCE (1907 - 1984 Augusta Co, VA); 2) Harry Alfred ROBERTS
  3. Clarence Arthur SULLIVAN (1913 Augusta Co, VA - 4 Sep 1996 Harrisonburg, VA) and Lottie Nora MORRIS (3 May 1915 - 31 Jul 1994 Waynesboro, Augusta, VA) married 18 Sep 1934
  4. Luther Franklin SULLIVAN (11 Mar 1916 Harriston, Augusta Co, VA - 13 Oct 1998 Grottoes, Rockingham, VA) and Daisy P. BLACKWELL (16 Mar 1920 – 18 Jun 1993 Grottoes, Rockingham, VA) married 25 Mar 1938 Waynesboro, Augusta, VA
  5. Nina C. SULLIVAN (23 Jan 1919 Augusta Co, VA - 29 Jul 2009 Grottoes, Rockingham, VA) and Robert Lee MORRIS (11 Jul 1910 Grottoes, Rockingham, VA - 2 May 1972 Grottoes, Rockingham, VA) married 9 Oct 1937 Grottoes, Augusta, VA
  6. Rena P. SULLIVAN (18 Aug 1921 Augusta Co, VA - 17 Feb 2008 Newport News, VA) and Carl D. ESTES (4 Nov 1918 Augusta Co, VA - 4 Jul 1994 Newport News, VA) married 6 Sep 1936 Waynesboro, Augusta, VA
  7. David Edward SULLIVAN (17 Feb 1924 Harriston, Augusta Co, VA - 18 Jan 2002 Augusta Co, VA) and Mary Frances PARR (12 Jun 1926 Augusta Co, VA - 3 Oct 2007 in Staunton, VA) married 24 Sep 1946 New Hope, Augusta Co., VA
  8. Gladys Irene SULLIVAN (28 Mar 1927 Augusta Co, VA - 13 May 2011 Mt. Juliet, TN) and 1) Lee Odell CAMPER (12 Jan 1922 Rockbridge Co, VA - Feb 1989 Norristown, PA); and 2) Stanley V. ROSE
  9. Charles Harris SULLIVAN (27 Jun 1928 Augusta Co, VA - 29 Aug 1929 Augusta Co, VA)
  10. James Arey SULLIVAN (20 Dec 1931 Augusta Co, VA - 18 Feb 2002 Grottoes, Rockingham, VA) and Goldie Sue GREEN (21 May 1933 West Virginia - 27 Sep 2013 Fishersville, Augusta, VA) married 30 Jun 1951 Waynesboro, Augusta, VA 

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Reflections on Turning 5

Five years ago Jollett Etc was born. At the time, the only blogs I knew about were ones showing me how to create exciting tablescapes, prepare meals that would delight my family, and upcycle old windows into coffee tables. Pinterest was just a baby tempting me with nifty ideas for creating art from paint chip samples. I was not sure how genealogy fit in that world.

Then I found Geneabloggers, and I realized there were lots of family historians like me trying to share our research. In five years, I have seen lots of blogs come and go, lots of bloggers come and go, and lots of changes to genealogy blogging as a whole.

5 years ago
Family history bloggers who were held up as models of excellence were writing STORIES of their ancestors.
Bloggers who receive recognition are the ones telling the rest of us how to do it – how to write a story, how to write titles, how to attract readers, how to research, how to network, how to promote our blogs, how to organize our research, how to organize our blog, how to measure success. (I still prefer the story tellers.)

5 years ago
Family historians looked for documents and interesting resources to fill in their ancestor’s life story. They eagerly shared those findings.
There is much more emphasis on citations – PROPER citations – for those sources. (You have to be thick-skinned to keep from feeling like a lowlife researcher for recording simply “1880 Virginia Federal Census.”)

5 years ago
Family history meant finding those ancestors and looking for deeds, wills and other documents to tell THEIR story.
We are encouraged to tell OUR OWN story too because one day we will be someone’s ancestor. Someone will be interested in our baby picture, wedding photo, and stories of our glory days in school. (Done! Well, to some extent anyway.)

5 years ago
I was not aware of opportunities to improve my research skills.
There is always a free webinar online even if I cannot get to a state or national conference and collect blogger beads. (I am not looking to be a certified genealogist, but I attend webinars if the topic is interesting.  While I don’t always heed the advice of how-to articles – in fact, sometimes I just give ‘em the eyeball roll – I would have appreciated the help five years ago, so I am confident their service is appreciated by new bloggers.)

5 years ago
Family history bloggers measured success by the number of comments on their blog.
Those predicting the future of blogging say that comments are a thing of the past. “Real” bloggers are moving the conversation to social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. (Maybe I’m just “old school,” but I prefer seeing comments on my blog. Unless Blogger goes the way of Geocities, my blog with its comments will be there for years to come whereas tweets and “Likes” will disappear with the next scroll.)

5 years ago
Networking for genealogy blogs was mainly through Geneabloggers. I found other blogs by participating in the daily prompts that worked much like a blog hop. We came to expect a return visit if we left a comment on someone’s blog.
Geneabloggers is alive and well, and there are memes like 52 Ancestors and The Book of Me that pull family historians together. Nevertheless, networking is largely dependent on outlets like Facebook,Twitter, and even Pinterest. In addition to their personal Facebook accounts, many bloggers create a page for their blog or a closed group for the family line. (I have mixed feelings about the shift from blogging to Facebook. I understand why many bloggers give up the blog. Writing stories is hard. Keeping to any sort of schedule is hard – and harder still if you listen to the ones saying a definite schedule is a MUST. I understand the frustration and disappointment when family and yet-unknown cousins do not read the blog. So yes, posting photos and latest findings to a Facebook group dedicated to a particular family or geographical region is a heckuva lot easier and still accomplishes the goal of sharing research. Besides, for some people – and it’s not necessarily a generational thing – blogs are just a foreign concept while Facebook is mainstream.)

5 years ago
Blogging was pure and sweet and fairly simple once you mastered your chosen platform, Blogger and Wordpress being the top 2 choices.
Our blogs are subject to the worst of human behavior. Spam has led to comment moderation. Copyright violations are a constant worry. It is not merely about being careful with images; we have to watch out for unscrupulous parties copying our content and posting to other websites. Bloggers are obsessed with checking their stats to see where visitors are coming from and then trying to understand what those numbers mean and how their blog will be affected. (Probably because my blog is story-driven and thus appeals to a limited audience, Jollett Etc has not been deemed worthy of stealing. Furthermore, I have not been bothered by hordes of Russian visitors. Maybe I should be insulted.)

Whatever the future of blogging may be, I am in it for the long haul. Happy Blogiversary, Jollett Etc! 

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: James Henry Jollett

Tombstone Tuesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks bloggers to include an image of a gravestone of one or more ancestors along with a brief description of the image or the ancestor.

Tombstone James Henry Jollett Harriston Methodist Church Cemetery Harriston, VA  https://jollettetc.blogspot.com
James H.
son of
J.F. and E.J. Jollett
Born Apr 21, 1894
Died Aug 29, 1909
James Henry Jollett is buried in the Harriston Methodist Church Cemetery just down the road from his home in Harriston, Virginia. James Franklin and Eliza Jane are buried there as well.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Monday, August 22, 2016

James Franklin Jollett's Kids: James Henry Jollett

As part of my “Genealogy Do-Over” efforts AND to force myself to get crackin’ on my James Franklin Jollett book, Jollett Reunion, I will be researching and writing brief biographies of James Franklin, his wives, and his children.

When James Franklin Jollett was 58 years old, he became a father for the tenth time. He and Eliza Jane Coleman Jollett welcomed her only child James Henry Jollett to their Greene County, Virginia home on April 21, 1894.

Since his other brothers and sisters all attended school, it is likely he did as well. In the 1900 census, James Henry had been in school for five months.

There is little left of James Henry’s story. On August 29, 1909, he and his father were on the way to the train station to meet Eliza Jane who was returning home after being away visiting family. Some of Henry's friends stopped him and invited him to go swimming with them. James Franklin said he should not go since Eliza would be expecting them. Henry promised to be back in time to meet the train. Unfortunately while swimming, he got caught in a current and his friends could not rescue him.

He is buried in the Harriston Methodist Church Cemetery.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Ulysses F. Jollette

Sunday’s Obituary is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers asking us to post obituaries along with other information about that person.

The remains of Ulysses Jollette of Baltimore, who died in that city Friday morning arrived at Shenandoah Saturday evening at the home of his brother-in-law D. B. Breeden.

The funeral was held at the U. B. Church at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Verbena Lodge, 42 I. O. O. F. attending in a body. Rev. Lee B. Sheaffer officiating. Interment was in the U. B. cemetery. He is survived by his wife and one daughter Mrs. G. A. [Vessie] Steppe, and five sisters: Mrs. A. J.[Emma] Coleman, Mrs. W. B.[Mary] Davis, Mrs. D. B.[Victoria] Breeden, Mrs. W. J. [Laura] Sullivan, Mrs. Sallie Clift. All residing in Shenandoah. He was 48 years old. The funeral was attended by a large number of relatives and friends.

We wish to thank the many kind friends, also the Odd Fellows for the many acts of kindness shown us during our sad hours of bereavement.-Mrs. U. F. Jollett, Mrs. Gilbert Steppe, and Mrs. D. B. Breeden.

Source: Page News & Courier Tuesday, Feb. 3, 1931 page 2 Col. 1

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Ulysses and Vessie

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.
Ulysses F. Jollette and daughter Vessie  https://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Vessie and Ulysses F. Jollette
Vessie loved her daddy, and judging by this picture, the feeling was mutual. This photo was taken probably about 1910, most likely in Naked Creek, a favorite spot of those living in Page County.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.