Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Walter and His Wheels

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. Some posters also include attribute information as to the source of the image.

My great-great grandfather Walter Beriah Sylvester Davis  (Sep 12, 1867 – Oct 31, 1934) and his car. 

His license plate number was certainly easy to remember!

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Post 100

This is the 100th post for Jollett Etc.  It only took 6 months to the day, she said sarcastically.  I doubt it’s a record.  Anyway, to celebrate this milestone, I’m going to look at what was shaking in Jollett land 100 years ago in 1912.

My maternal grandparents were ages 13 and 8; paternal grandparents were 11 and 5.  All but one attended school that year.
All 8 great-grandparents were living.  Stephen Slade was a truck-farmer in Virginia Beach.  John Walsh was an ordinance man for the Navy Yard.  Walter Davis was working as a carpenter.  Joseph Rucker was a  railroad conductor.  Wives were all keeping house.

Only 4 great-great grandparents were living:  Julia Slade, James Franklin Jollett and George and Segourney Eppard.  It surprises and saddens me that my grandparents didn’t know their grandparents.

Famous people were born:
  • Actor Danny Thomas
  • Actor Jose Ferrer
  • Perry Como
  • Gene Kelly
  • Dale Evans
  • Minnie Pearl
  • Vivian Vance
  • Julia Child
  • Art Linkletter
  • Pat Nixon
  • Lady Bird Johnson
  • Woody Guthrie
  • American artist Jackson Pollock
  • Hitler’s mistress Eva Braun

  • Al Jolson
  • Mary Pickford

  • The Life Saver candy
  • Hellman mayonnaise
  • Motorized movie cameras
  • Neon signs
  • Traffic lights
  • Zippers for clothes
  • X-rays discovered when doctors removed a nail from a boy's lungs

A year of firsts:
  • Mail carried by plane
  • Electronic Timing and Photo-Finish Equipment used in the Olympics
  • Cherry trees planted in Washington DC
  • Keystone Cops comedy

The political scene:

  • The last emperor of China forced to abdicate
  • Republic of China established
  • Arizona became the 48th state
  • Alaska organized as a territory
  • William Howard Taft was president until the election in November when Woodrow Wilson won as the first Democratic president in 20 years.

  • The sinking of the Titanic   

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Week 9 Cemeteries

This is Week 9 of Amy Coffin’s Abundant Genealogy series.
Cemeteries:  Genealogists understand the full value of cemeteries and appreciate them in ways most others can’t see.  Share a cemetery or cemetery experience for which you are most thankful.  What makes this place special?  What does it mean to you and your family history?

The Jollett Cemetery is located on a hill

Photo by Lois Emswiler
on Rootsweb

 behind the Jollett Methodist Church

in Jollett Hollow in Page County, Virginia. 

Before I started my research on the Jollett family, I always assumed this is where the bulk of my ancestors were buried.  After all, Fielding Jollett lived along Naked Creek from 1822 until he was too old to live alone sometime after 1870.  He owned land there and sold it to his children.  This was the stomping grounds of MY line.  The area was named for them.  It stands to reason they’d die and be buried there, right?

As it turns out, most of my ancestors through my great-great grandfather James Franklin Jollett are not buried in the Jollett Cemetery at all, rather in Coverstone Cemetery  (formerly the EUB Church Cemetery) in Shenandoah, Virginia.  James Franklin himself is in a church cemetery in Augusta County.  The few Jolletts who are in the Jollett Cemetery are actually the family of James Franklin’s brother John Wesley Jollett.

The land where the church and cemetery are located originally belonged to Revolutionary War veteran Jacob Smith and his wife Winna.  Upon their deaths the land went to their youngest son Gabriel Smith.  Then in 1866, Gabriel’s widow sold the land to John Wesley Jollett who had married Sarah Elizabeth Smith, Jacob and Winna’s great granddaughter.

John Wesley Jollett was a much loved Methodist minister.  He gave the land for the church and the cemetery to the Methodist Conference.  Ironically, while the area bears his name, there are only three tombstones with the name Jollett.

Sarah E. wife of
Rev. J. W. Jollett
Died Jan 30 1917
Aged 82 Yrs
8 M and 8 DS

Rev. J. W. Jollett
Died Oct 18 1916
Aged 84 yrs
6 M and 12 DS

Precious in the sight of the Lord is
 the death of His saint

John and Sarah’s two daughters are there as well, but only one son is buried in the Jollett Cemetery.

Hiram Frank Meadows is buried between his wives.
Mary E. V. Jollett was born 1854
Matilda C.
Feb. 16, 1859
Jan. 24, 1953
Age 93 Yrs.
11 Mos. 23 Dys.
Thomas W.
Jan. 15, 1854
Feb. 4, 1941
Age 87 Yrs.
20 Dys.
We will meet again.

Image from

To the Memory
Artubine J.
Son of John and
Jollett born
Dec the 16th 1853
and died Oct 27
th 1862 aged 8
years, 10 months,
and 11 days

Image from

Most of the graves are of descendents of Jacob and Winna Smith. 

Except for paved roads and more modern brick houses, this rural area probably looks much like it did in the 1800s. Even though my direct line ancestors are not there, when I visit this cemetery I still get a sense of what life was like for them. 

Jollett United Methodist Church is visible through the trees.
Looking toward the Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park.

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sepia Saturday: Made for Walking

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

This week’s Sepia Saturday challenge is all about SHOES.  And can you believe it?  I’ve used my best shoe photos already.  So I’m forced to present this one:

Can anyone say “Hullabaloo”?

At Christmas 1970, I was certainly on the cutting edge in my Mod lace-up boots that look remarkably like my uncle’s boots from the 1930s:

My friend Guy was wearing a quirky flat-bottomed shoe.  I think they were called Charlie Brown shoes, but I’ve been unable to confirm that there was any such style for young men in the 70’s. 

As protocol dictates, I’ve saved the best for last. The star of this picture is definitely my hip mother in her white Go-Go boots.  Those white vinyl knee-high slip-ons plus her snappy blue Ford Pinto made her quite the “hottie” in the teacher’s lounge at Alf J. Mapp Junior High.

from Google Images

We definitely jumped on the fashion rebellion train.  We can say “We were there!” when boots became part of women’s fashions, not just a necessity for getting out in the snow.  “We were there” when Yves St. Laurent rolled out the Mondrian dress, perfect with boots.  “We were there” singing along with Nancy Sinatra whose big hit “These Boots” drew attention not only to the latest fashion trend but also to the growing support for feminism.  Do you remember the words?  Give it a try -- you know you want to.  Then afterwards put on your boots and walk on over to Sepia Saturday for more fabulous footwear.

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Those Places Thursday: Frazier Cabin Revisited

Those Places is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that invites family historians to post photos and stories about places their ancestors lived. 

Last week I posted this picture of the Frazier cabin on Frazier Mountain in Greene County, Virginia. 

Photo by Kevin Frazier

When I was looking through my Frazier files, I spied this next photo which was sent to me by John and Janet Thompson hoping I could help identify the people.

The white-bearded man is Henry Timber Frazier, John Thompson’s great-grandfather and my 1st cousin 4 times removed.  Henry Timber was the son of Miley Frazier who once owned 1000 acres on this mountain, and grandson of John and Lucy Frazier.  I’ve been unable to identify the others in the picture, but probably it’s one of Henry Timber’s sons and his wife and children OR a daughter and her husband and children.  Or not. 

As much as I’d like to be able to identify these people, I am drawn to the building.  Doesn’t it look like the ruin in the previous picture?  I think so.  It seems too small to have been a house, so maybe it was a shed or smokehouse or other outbuilding.  Whatever it is, I’m excited to see this family on their own land before it was taken by the government to establish the Skyline Drive.

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Frazier Mountain School

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. Some posters also include attribute information as to the source of the image.

This is the Frazier Mountain School in Greene County, Virginia, 1917.  The picture was sent to me by John and Janet Thompson, descendents of Henry Timber Frazier, son of Miley Frazier (whom I mentioned HERE) and grandson of John and Lucy Frazier (whom I wrote about HERE). 

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Nancy Frazier Shiflett

Tombstone Tuesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers which asks bloggers to create a post including an image of a gravestone of one or more ancestors; it may also include a brief description of the image or the ancestor.

 Nancy E. Shiflett
Jan 22, 1895
83 years, 11 mo, 8 ds

Nancy Elizabeth Frazier Shiflett was my 3G grandmother, widow of Burton Shiflett.  At her death she was living with her daughter Nancy Frances Morris in Rockingham County, Virginia.  That probably explains why she was buried in the Pine Grove Church of the Brethren Cemetery rather than in the family cemetery in Greene County.

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Joseph H. Frazier, MD

Amanuensis Monday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts.

The Fraziers seem to have been a family of hard-working farmers and dedicated moonshiners.  The family history is dotted with stories of Civil War draft dodging and killings and countless illegitimate children. 

But there are also some stories of Fraziers who achieved financial and personal success.  One is the son of the notorious Leland Frazier, Joseph Hardin Frazier. 


This article (found on  appears in a history of Randolph County, Missouri.

Joseph H. Frazier, M.D.
(Physician and Surgeon; also Farmer; Post-office, Rolling Home, MO)

Dr. Frazier has been engaged in the practice of medicine in the vicinity of Rolling Home for 18 years, and has been long recognized as one of the capable and successful physicians of the north-western part of the county.  His practice not only extends through this section of Randolph county, but also into the neighboring vicinities of Macon and Chariton.  The Doctor has ever commanded a good practice and, while it has not been his highest ambition to accumulate property, for he has done a great deal of gratuitous practice and has never oppressed the poor or unfortunate, yet as the fruits of his long and faithful services he has secured a substantial modicum of this world’s goods.  The Doctor has a handsome farm of some 200 acres where he now resides and is pleasantly and comfortably situated.  He has passed that point where he must practice as a means of support, for his farm would sustain him in abundance; but possessed of large humanity and warm sympathies, he never turns a deaf ear to the call of the sufferer, but goes wherever duty demands, in summer’s heat or winter’s cold, in sunshine, or in the shadow of night, when all nature sleeps or but the melancholy voice of the owl is heard or the lonely chirp of the cricket by the wayside.  Dr. Frazier was a native of the Old Dominion –Virginia— born in Orange county, Va., April 23, 1828.  His father’s name was Leland Frazier, and his mother’s maiden name Ann Mallory.  Both were native to the same county in which the Doctor, himself, was born and reared.  Dr. Frazier’s early educational advantages were quite limited, and when he came to Missouri in 1853, he had still not completed a course of instruction satisfactory to himself, having in view, as he did have a career in the medical profession.  His first year in this State was spent in Jackson county, where he worked on a farm, after which he came to Randolph, and here he attended school for a session on Silver creek.  Following his last term at school, young Frazier taught school until 1862, when he felt himself in a situation to begin the study of medicine.  He read medicine under Dr. Terrill, that old and honored Nestor of the profession in Randolph county.  He studied under Dr. Terrill until 1865, attending the medical lectures at St. Louis durin the sessions of 1864 and 1865.  He graduated in the Medical College of Keokuk, Iowa, in the class of 1872, and at once returned to Randolph county and entered upon the practice at Thomas Hill.  He has since been engaged in the practice in this vicinity.  On the 14th day of February, 1864, Dr. Frazier was married to Miss Deniza E. Epperly.  They have seven children, namely: Joseph, Susan M., Mary B., Theresa, William L., Leland and Oliver.  All of the children are at home, except Joseph, who is living near Clifton, in this county. The Doctor and wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and the Doctor is also a member of the Masonic order.  During the war Dr. F. served eight months in the Southern State Guard, and participated in the battles of Boonville, Lexington and Pea Ridge.  He has a pony that he rode in the army and while in the battle of Pea Ridge, which is now 26 years old, and which is still gamboling on the green with head up and tail erect, as light-footed and frisky, and with spirit as gay and free as the May zephyrs that toy with the velvety leaves of a new blown rose, or with the golden locks of a silken-haired maid.  This pony is known as “Barber Willis,” and was named for the hero of the Crusades, who, for the first time in the history of the world, unfurled the banner of the Cross in triumph on the ancient walls of Jerusalem.

It appears this article was written prior to 1885, because there were 3 more children born to Joseph and Deniza:  Aubrey C., Ione, and Robert Bruce. 

Joseph died in 1892 and is buried in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Clifton Hill, Randolph Co., Missouri.

Image from
by James M. Bagby

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 8 Genealogy Libraries

This is Week 8 of Amy Coffin’s Abundant Genealogy series.

Genealogy Libraries:  Genealogy libraries (and dedicated departments of regular libraries) are true treasures in the family history community.  Tell us about your favorite genealogy library.  What or who makes it special?

Library of Virginia
From Google Images

The Library of Virginia in Richmond is the one-stop shop for all genealogy research.  A family historian can find both original and microfilm records documenting the daily activities of the courts in the various counties, cities, and towns across the state.  Just about anything someone needs to know about an ancestor’s OFFICIAL life is there:  birth, death, marriage records; wills; deeds; chancery causes; personal property and land tax records; road orders.  Some information is available digitally too, such as Confederate pension applications and Revolutionary War bounty warrants.  For most documents one can come here rather than travel to all the local courthouses throughout the state.

Aside from the convenience of having almost everything I’d ever want to find under one roof, two features make this library truly special.  And they have nothing to do with research. 

Go up to the Reading Room where all the genealogy goodies are kept.
Go down to the Coffee Shop.
From Google Images

First of all, there is free parking in the basement garage, provided you remember to get your ticket stamped.  And we never forget that.

And second, there is a coffee shop with a better than decent lunch right downstairs.  The chicken salad alone is worth the 90-minute drive.

When we go to Richmond for the library, we show up early and never have to get out in the elements or lose a good parking spot until the end of the day when we’re nearly blind or dizzy from cranking microfilm through the readers. 

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sepia Saturday: Men and More

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

This week’s Sepia Saturday challenge features a 1912 photo of actor Claude Rains.  Alan suggested many ways to interpret the photo:  actors, monocles, pointing, men in chairs.  I wanted so desperately to find among my family photos a picture of someone pointing.  But it seems I come from a long line of people who were taught it’s not polite to point.  However, I have no shortage of pictures of men in chairs.  

The man standing is George Clift, the abusive ex-husband of my great-grand aunt Sallie Jollett Clift (read more about her HERE and HERE).  I don’t know who the man sitting is; he does not resemble either of George and Sallie’s sons.  This picture must have been taken prior to 1914, the date of their divorce decree.  I can’t imagine why anyone even held on to this photo given what George put Sallie through, but here it is nonetheless.

Oh my - lookie there – they’re wearing spats!  Just like Claude Rains!

And suddenly my Sepia contribution took a turn.  Here is my daddy Fred R. Slade Jr. as a young recruit in the Coast Guard.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Those Places Thursday: Frazier Discovery Trail

Those Places is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that invites family historians to post photos and stories about places their ancestors lived. 

Before Shenandoah National Park and the Skyline Drive were established as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s economic response to the Great Depression, hundreds of families called these mountains “home.”  My Fraziers (3G and 4G grandparents) were among them.  Their presence is recorded in land records from the 1700s, but in the 1930s, the last of the Frazier families moved away from what became park land.

At one time Miley Frazier, my 3G grand uncle, owned over 1,000 acres of land on what was once called Frazier Mountain, now Loft Mountain.  At his death he gave each of his children 200 acres.  Over time, those children divided the land further among their own children.  By the 1930s only 8 Frazier families actually had deeds to property on Loft Mountain, but more Frazier families were there tending other landowners’ farms in exchange for living on the land.

In the 1960s Loft Mountain Campground and The Deadening Nature Trail were built. 

Scanned from Frazier Discovery Trail brochure
The trail was so named because at the time, the trees still showed signs of having been “deadened” by the mountain people, that is, girdled with an axe in order to kill the trees quickly so that they could plant orchards and cultivate fields for cattle.  With new growth, the signs of deadening disappeared, and so the name made no sense.  The trail was renamed Frazier Discovery Trail in 1999 to honor the long history between this family and this mountain.

The trail is a short and easy hike, only 1.3 miles.  Two noteworthy features are the overhanging rock cliff

from Google Images

and the overlook where the Frazier trail joins the Appalachian Trail for a short distance.

from Google Images

Two more features are more personal.  Right off the trail are the ruins of the Frazier cabin dating from the early 1800s (which I posted about HERE)

Photo by Kevin Frazier
and a family cemetery.    

Family cemetery behind the cabin
Photo by Kevin Frazier

There are at least 50 graves behind the Frazier cabin.  Only the tombstones of Jackson and Fannie Morris Frazier remain (1st cousin 4 times removed and his wife).  I believe my 2G grandmother Lucy Ann Shiflett Jollett could be buried there.  She and James Franklin Jollett were living near her mother and her Frazier uncles and cousins in the 1880 Greene County, Virginia census.  She died four years later, so it is likely she is one of the 50.  It is equally likely that her father Burton Shiflett is there.  Maybe even the notorious LelandFrazier is there. 

The mind races contemplating the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins that might be buried not far from this popular hiking trail.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Frazier Cabin

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. Some posters also include attribute information as to the source of the image.

Photos by Kevin Walton

John and Lucy Frazier (my 4G grandparents, and parents to Leland Frazier whom I wrote about HERE and HERE) married in 1811, so the cabin dates some time after that.  The cabin is on a trail along the Skyline Drive in Virginia.