Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: Z is for Zenith

This is Day 26 – LAST DAY – of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for Zenith Hubbell.  “Zenith” means the highest point in the path of a star, the peak, the apex, the culmination.  Appropriate name for the end of the A to Z Challenge, don’t you agree?

Much of Zenith’s life seems rather unremarkable.  She was born in 1901 to Flossie Bucklew and Nelson Hubbell, a clayworker in a factory in Brazil, Indiana.  She attended school, and at age 15 she married Harry Sanders Boes.  However, in three short years she was divorced and back home living with her mother and working as a telephone operator.

In 1921, Zenith married Lee Roy McDonald, my first cousin twice removed.  (Side note:  Lee Roy’s parents were Malvina Davis and Grattan McDANIEL – I’m wondering when and how McDaniel morphed into McDonald!).  They had one son, Lee Roy Jean.

But what interests me about Zenith is that in 1942 she enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps. 

I wonder why.  Was it a burst of patriotism?  Was it for pay and some sense of security?  Sigh ~ another question that will probably never be answered.

Zip, Zoom, or Zigzag over to the A to Z April Challenge Zone for Zillions of Zesty Zingers by Zealous Zanies before they are Zapped.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Monday, April 29, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: Y is for Yonnie

This is Day 25 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for Yonnie Virginia Mathias Cook, my aunt by marriage.  That is, she was my father-in-law’s sister.

Yonnie Virginia Mathias Cook about 1940
Yonnie Mathias
Yonnie was the last child and only daughter born to John Roy and Essie See Mathias on June 5, 1923.  Throughout her youth she lived in Lost River, Hardy County, West Virginia. 

John Roy and Essie See Mathias, Hardy Co, West VA
John and Essie Mathias

Mother and Daughter:  Essie and Yonnie Mathias
Essie and Yonnie
When Yonnie grew up, she looked
just like her mother!

However, when she married Ernest Franklin Cook, they became hard-working dairy farmers in Timberville, Rockingham County, Virginia.  In addition to raising cows, they raised four children:  two boys and two girls. 

Children of John and Essie See Mathias
Ervin, Yonnie, Wilmer, Marvin

A family reunion was an important event to Yonnie and her brothers.  It was always held on Father’s Day at Lost River State Park in Mathias, West Virginia.  After Yonnie’s parents died, she assumed the role of matriarch over the Mathias brothers and cousins and saw to it that the family reunion continued.  On Father’s Day.  Yonnie loved the symbolism of honoring the Mathias ancestors on that date.

In recent years, the younger generation has grumbled over the timing of the reunion, mainly because those who married a Mathias are deprived of spending Father’s Day with their own fathers.  Even though Yonnie passed away in 2009, no one has been brave enough to propose a date change.  Soon my husband’s cousin will send out the reminder of date, time, and place for the Mathias Reunion. 

The love and admiration Yonnie and her three brothers had for their parents, and then their children had for their grandparents is a testament to John and Essie Mathias.  That the reunion continues to bring cousins together – on Fathers Day! – is a testament to Aunt Yonnie. 

Yippee!  There will be no Yawning over the Yarns Yielded by Yuppies, Youngsters, Yokels, and Yodelers over Yonder at the A to Z April Challenge.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: X is for the eX Wife

This is Day 24 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for X-wife.  OK, give me a break.  Not many people have a name that starts with “X.”  So I give you a strange family situation involving an ex.

I wrote about Margaret Ann “Maggie” Johnson previously, the mother of Sudie Belle Life.  Mother and daughter were married to the brothers Sell and Will Shiflett. 

Margaret’s oldest daughter Mary was born out of wedlock.  Margaret later married and was widowed by two men:  Jacob Life and George Hott.  Margaret had 2 daughters by Life and 3 daughters by Hott.  I doubt it’s fair to call a widow an “ex wife,” so let’s move on.

Then Maggie married a Mr. Ford about 1894.  The couple and her six daughters settled into farm life in Rockingham County.  The two added three more children to the group:  2 girls and a boy. 

And then the unthinkable happened.  Ford ran off with Maggie’s oldest daughter Mary.  Margaret became the ultimate X-wife in 1900. 

Maggie and Sell Shiflett and family
Before December 1954
Maggie Johnson Life Hott Ford Shiflett in the bed
Sell Shiflett holding one of his grandchildren
Alice Lam Shiflett Wolf, Sell and Maggie's ex-daughter-in-law
holding another grandchild
photo courtesy of Erica Shiflett

If you’re caught between a Xenolith and Xylols, you might want to head over to the A to Z April Challenge for some Xeroxing.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: W is for Wrennie

This is Day 23 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for Wrennie Louise Jollett, my second cousin twice removed.  She was born in 1900, the fourth of five children of Charles Belsin and Nannie June Fogg Jollett.  They lived in Shenandoah, Page County, Virginia at the time, but by 1910 they were in Portsmouth where Charles worked for the railroad. 

In fact, he might have gotten Wrennie a job with the railroad.  In 1920 she was a clerk and her father was foreman.

However, in 1930 Wrennie was a sales clerk at a department store.

Sometime between 1932 and 1938, Wrennie married David Gregory Holland of Virginia Beach.  He was a civil engineer, and in 1940 they were living in Luray, Virginia, since he was working for the national park service at that time.  They had a daughter, Dora Cornelia.

Many years ago when I had a website at the now-defunct Geocities, I received a letter from Wrennie’s godchild along with a photo. 

Wrennie Jollett Holland
Wrennie J. Holland
photo courtesy of Emily VanHazinga

Emily tells this story about her godmother, Wrennie Jollett Holland: 

"David was a civil engineer, and worked for the park service, though by the time I knew him, a diabetic condition had reduced him to the kitchen chair.  I remember him as a sweet and thoughtful man; he died when I was about 6.  Wrennie helped keep house for her in-laws.  It was an old-fashioned extended family, with the grandparents, their unmarried adult daughter Cornelia, and David and Wrennie and their daughter sharing the large home.  Mom says Wrennie and David had had a home of their own, nearby, on Lake Holly, but after it burned, they moved back in to 12th Street [Virginia Beach], and stayed.  I recall that each day Wrennie would dress nicely and walk up Atlantic Avenue at noontime to her sister-in-law's yarn and fabric shop, to allow her to escape an hour for lunch.  Wrennie was simply the best knitter and seamstress that ever lived, and a wonderful cook who delighted in surprising us youngsters with special baked goods.  Mom says she was a very large woman when she was a girl, but I knew her at 89 pounds. She was a devoted smoker of unfiltered Camels, and died of emphysema in the library at home, which had been rigged as a sick room, just a few weeks before my wedding in 1977. She's buried with the Hollands at Eastern Shore Cemetery in Virginia Beach, and was, I believe, a member of Galilee Episcopal Church."

Why don’t you Work your Way over to the A to Z April Challenge for more Wonderful Writings?

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: V is for Virenda

This is Day 22 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for Virenda Jane Shiflett.  My third great grandaunt, Virenda descended from one of the oldest families in Orange County, Virginia and married into one of the other oldest.  She was daughter of Jacob Shiflett and Mary Polly Self Jarrell; granddaughter of John and Mary Mobb Self and John and Susannah Davis Shiflett; great-granddaughter of Thomas and Patience Shiflett.

Virenda was born about 1821 and in 1844 married Michael P. “Miley” Frazier.  Incidentally, Virenda’s brother Burton and Miley’s sister Nancy also married; they are my 3G grandparents.

Virenda and Miley had at least 8 children, 2 girls and 6 boys. 
  • Julia Ann (1845 - )
  • John T. (1847 – 1860)
  • Henry Timber (1849 – 1931)
  • Jacob Emanuel (1853 - )
  • Austin Jackson (1855 – 1920)
  • Jacob Mitchell (1859 - )
  • Polly Jane (1862 – 1936)
  • George D. (1866 - )

Virenda’s name was carried on when their son Austin Jackson and his wife Nancy Morris Frazier named a daughter after her. 

Virenda was grandmother to Mahulda Jane Frazier, the subject of the popular “M” post.

I don’t have an exact death date for Virenda, but in 1900 the widowed Miley Frazier was living with his daughter Polly, so it’s safe to assume she died between 1880 and 1900. 

Why don’t you Vege out and Venture over to the A to Z April Challenge to View a Veritable Vortex of Veracious Verbalization before they Vanish.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: U is for Ursula

This is Day 21 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for Ursula Clarissa Boyd.  My half-second cousin twice removed was the daughter of William Preston Boyd (a.k.a. William H. Jollett) and Hattie Echols Boyd.  She was born March 25, 1887 in Giles County, Virginia.  In 1909, she married John Arthur Hebb in Monroe County, West Virginia. 

They lived most of their married life in Beckley, West Virginia, where Hebb was an electrician for a coal mine.  They raised five sons, most of whom also became coal miners.

The 1940 census for Beckley, West Virginia recorded that “Ersie” had taken back her Boyd surname, suggesting she was divorced.  She was earning a living as a laundress and her sons were still with her.  John Arthur Hebb, meanwhile, had a new family:  a much younger wife and six children, the oldest of whom was 12.

Interesting.  Why?  Because John Arthur was still head of household with “Ersie” and the boys in 1930. (Doing the math….)  Ever in search of the dirt, I then checked for the 12-year old in the 1930 census to see where she was.  What a surprise:  just 11 miles away in Slab Fork, that frisky J.A. Hebb was head of household for his young wife and 2 children too.  Was he leading a double life? 

No wonder Ursula took back the Boyd name.

I Urge you to Unite with Umpteen Users over at A to Z April Challenge  to Uncover some Utterly Unequal blogs.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: T is for Tabatha

This is Day 20 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for Tabatha.  I always thought “Tabatha” was a new name invented by the writers of “Bewitched.”  Do you remember Tabatha?  She was the witchy daughter of Samantha and Darrin Stephens.

These little actresses played Tabatha Stephens
on "Bewitched"

So I was surprised to learn we have a VERY OLD Tabatha in the family, specifically Tabatha Jollett of Greene County, Virginia.  Gathering her complete story is difficult.  If her name is on a will, a deed, a marriage or death certificate, I have not found it.  She appears by name in only two census records.  In 1850 Greene County, she is listed as 50 years old, living with Elizabeth (Jollett) King (54), Thomas Marsh (34), Fanny Jollett (28), and Columbia King (25).  No relationships are indicated.

In 1860, Elizabeth was living with Thomas and C.A. Marsh, so it is safe to assume that Columbia was her daughter, and now Thomas was her son-in-law.  “T” (age 63) and “FEA” Jollett (age 39) were on their own in Greene County.  So likely Fanny was Tabatha’s daughter. 

The question then is whether Tabatha was Elizabeth’s unmarried sister with a child out of wedlock or possibly a sister-in-law.  If she had married a Jollett boy, the only candidate would be James Jr. who left in the early 1830s headed for Indiana with his sister Clarissa and brother-in-law John Sampson.  However, James claimed he never married.  But if he deserted his wife and child, he might have lied too.

Looking at the 1830 and 1840 census records for James and Nancy Jollett, Elizabeth’s parents, Tabatha and Fanny could very well have been living in the household.  The numbers fit:

1830 Orange Co, VA Census (part of Orange became Greene in 1838)
1 15-20 – best guess James Jr.
1 20-30 – best guess Reuben King
1 50-60 - best guess James Jollett

2 under 5 – best guess Fanny Jollett and Columbia King
2 20-30 – best guess Tabatha Jollett and Elizabeth King  
1 60-70 – best guess  Nancy Jollett

1840 Greene Co, VA Census
1 70-80 – probably James Jollett (listed as James Jolly)

2 40-50 – best guess Elizabeth King and Tabatha Jollett
2 20-30 – best guess Elizabeth’s daughter Columbia King and Tabatha’s daughter Fanny Jollett

Either way, it fits for Tabatha to be a daughter or abandoned daughter-in-law.

Now there is one more piece of weirdness to confound the question:  When Elizabeth King died, her death was reported by “Fanny Jollett, granddaughter.”  That makes no sense at all.  That has to have been a recording error.  Fanny might have been Elizabeth’s niece, but certainly not her granddaughter. 

For more Terrific Tales, Trot on over to the A to Z April Challenge.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: S is for Sudie Belle

This is Day 19 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for Sudie Belle Life Shiflett.  She married into my family, but Sudie Belle’s story is a classic!

She was born in Rockingham County, Virginia, July 1885 to Margaret Johnson and the first of four husbands, Jacob Life. 

By 1901, Sudie’s mother Margaret Johnson Life Hott Ford was once again a free woman, and she married my first cousin three times removed, Sylvester “Sell” Shiflett of McGaheysville, Virginia.  So Sudie became his step-daughter. 

The next year, 1902, Sudie married her step-father's brother, James William “Will” Shiflett, also my first cousin three times removed.

Now Sudie was sister-in-law to her step-father as well as wife to her step-uncle.  Her mother was also her sister-in-law. 

Sell and Will Shiflett families
Photo courtesy of Erika Shiflett
Seated:  Ruth Ford, Sell Shiflett, Will Shiflett
Standing: Roy Thomas Shiflett (Sell and Margaret's son), Margaret Shiflett,
Clarence Ford, Sudie Belle Shiflett, 2 other daughters of Margaret
(possibly Blanche Hott and Mable Hott)

By now, you should be singing that ol’ favorite genealogy hymn, “I’m My Own Grandpa.”

Slip on over to the A to Z April Challenge for more Scintillating Selections.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: R is for Reefa

This is Day 18 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for Reefa Enis Baugher.  She was my third cousin once removed.  Her parents were Mary Byrd Duff and James Asa Baugher.  She descended through the numerous Baughers and Ruckers that had lived in the Beldor/Sandy Bottom area of Rockingham County, Virginia since the early 1800s.  Reefa was the fourth of six children, the first and last of whom died shortly after birth. 

But little Reefa was not long for the world either.  She was born in July 1899, and she died fourteen years later in November 1913. 

Baugher Family about 1905
3 Generations about 1905
Left to Right:  Reefa, Grandma Mary Duff, Ruby,
Mary Byrd Duff Baugher, Brinton, and Bernice

Untimely death darkened the Baugher doorstep far too many times:  her father in 1905, her mother in 1915, leaving behind 3 minor children. 

Run Right over to the A to Z April Challenge for some Roaring good Reads.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: Q is for Quinn

This is Day 17 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for Quinn, but that’s not a first name.  It’s Elizabeth Quinn.  And quite honestly, I’m not sure she’s really mine.  But she’s on the “maybe” list.  MAYBE my 6G great grandmother.  MAYBE daughter of Mary Ashworth and Darby Quinn.  (Darby Quinn!  How cute is that?  What Irish girl wouldn’t want an ancestor named Darby Quinn?) 

IF Elizabeth Quinn is mine, here is how we relate:

  • Elizabeth Quinn (1719 Culpeper Co, VA – 1793 Bland, VA) married George Bruce (1713 – 1787)
  • Their son Richard Bruce (1754 Albemarle Co, VA – 1813 Bland, VA ) married Catherine White (1744 – 1784).
  • Their daughter Malinda Bruce (1778 – 1872 Greene Co, VA) married Joshua Shiflett (1775 – 1838 Albemarle Co, VA).
  • Their son Isaac Shiflett (1807 – 1862 Albemarle Co, VA) married Susan Jordan (1814 – 1842). 
  • Their daughter Segourney Shiflett (1851 – 1926 Rockingham Co, VA) married George Eppard (1839 – 1917 Rockingham Co, VA).
  • Their daughter Mary Susan “Sudie” Eppard (1875 Rockingham Co, VA – 1958 Page Co, VA) married Joseph Rucker (1874 Rockingham Co, VA – 1933 Page Co, VA).
  • Their daughter Lucille Rucker (1904 Page Co, VA – 1990 Chesapeake, VA) married Orvin Davis (1899 Page Co, VA – 1963 Portsmouth, VA).
  • Their daughter Mary Eleanor Davis (1929 Page Co, VA – 2005 Chesapeake, VA) married Fred Slade (1928 Portsmouth, VA – 2009 Chesapeake, VA).
  • They had ME.

Don’t be in a Quandry.  Don’t Quit now.  If you’re Quick, you’ll enjoy some Quirky and Quotable Quips at the A to Z April Challenge.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Sepia Saturday: What the?

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

Alan’s intention with this week’s Sepia Saturday photo of a perplexed boy holding 2 geese is to see what crazy or odd photos we all have stashed away.  I have a couple amusing ones.

Chug! Chug! Chug!
My grandparents Lucille (far left) and Orvin Davis (the man) are with 3 others whom I don’t recognize.  However, I think that’s Granddaddy’s cousin Vessie Jollett Steppe who is being fed something to drink.  Can’t she hold her own bottle?  And then some boy is standing on his head while a little girl barely makes it into the shot with her foot in the air, high kick style.  With so much puzzling action, this photo makes me laugh whenever I look at it. 

Lucille Davis and Orvin Davis maybe at the Palmers' late 1940s or early 1950s

Naughty Girl
From my Aunt Velma’s album, here’s her buddy Virginia Cole thumbing her nose at the camera.  Tsk Tsk!  That was probably far more shocking in 1925 than it is today.

Virginia Cole 1925
Virginia Cole
Girl to immediate left is Olive Williams.
Velma on the right is cut off.
The man and other woman are unknown.

On Dasher! On Dancer!
Whoever Gertrude and Evan Sholl were, they probably scared the children of all the family and friends who received this Christmas card from them.  Nothing says "holiday" like freshly gutted deer. 

Christmas card from Gertrude and Evan Sholl
Wishing you a very Merry Deer Christmas
Gertrude & Evan Sholl
found among photos belonging to Helen Killeen Parker

Apparently gun safety in 1919 was not the serious business it is today. 

from album of Helen Killeen Parker
taken in Ocean View, Virginia
about 1919

For more smiles, giggles, snickers, and guffaws, please visit Sepia Saturday.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: P is for Parmela

This is Day 16 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for Parmela Eppard Samuels.  She was my third great grandaunt, sister to my 3G grandfather William Eppard, and thus sister-in-law to Helena Foland Eppard (about whom I wrote for “H”). 

Daughter of Johann George and Catherine Beasley Eppard, Parmela was born November 1808 in the Naked Creek area of Rockingham County, Virginia, in the heart of Eppard country.   Even after she married Joseph Hiram Samuels, Jr.  on August 28, 1828, they remained close to their Eppard and Samuels families.  In every census record from 1830 to 1900, their nearest neighbors were Eppard, Samuels, Smith (lots of Smith-Eppard weddings along Naked Creek!), and Jollett (Smiths and Jolletts married too).   

Parmela and Joseph had 6 children:
  1. Frances Caroline (1830 - )
  2. Joseph Hiram III (1834 - )
  3. Sarah Elizabeth (1837 – 1925)
  4. Amanda Catherine (1840 - )
  5. George Franklin (1846 – 1920)
  6. Greenberry (1849 – 1937)

For more Pontificating and other Pieces in Print, Pop over to the A to Z April Challenge.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: O is for Odetta

This is Day 15 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for Odetta Riggs.  She was my 4th cousin once removed.  How does that work?  OK, she was the great-great granddaughter of Clarissa Jollett and John Sampson, sister and brother-in-law of my 3G grandfather Fielding Jollett.  Whew ~

Suffice it to say, Odetta is getting my attention only because her name starts with “O.”  She is a VERY distant relative.

Odetta was born April 25, 1913 in Vigo County, Indiana.  Her parents Arnold and Nellie Sampson Riggs had two children:  Odetta and an older brother, Harry.  In the 1920 federal census, Arnold was a coal miner.  In 1930, Arnold was absent from the household.  In fact, Nellie and the kids were boarding with another family, and Nellie was working for a dry cleaners while Harry and Odetta attended school.

Then 1940 – hmm.  No Odetta.  But fortunately, her name was ODETTA.  In my trusty Ancestry, I searched for any Odetta born in 1913 and living in Indiana in 1940.  Up popped Odetta Baysinger in Terra Haute, Vigo County, Indiana.  She was a married lady, and her husband Clifford was an auto mechanic.  Living with them was Nellie Riggs, Odetta’s mother.  Nellie had divorced her coal miner husband and was earning a living doing housekeeping. 

Based on city directories, Odetta and Clifford were married around 1937, if not earlier.

Sometimes having an unusual name comes in handy.

There are Oodles of Ocular feasts at the A to Z April Challenge.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: N is for Nell

This is Day 14 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for “Cousin Nell.”  That’s how I first “met” her:  Cousin Nell.  Her photo appears here and there in my great-aunt Helen Killeen Parker’s photo album.  Helen came along when writing funny captions under photos was what the cool people did.  Since most of her captions say “So Lazy,” “Being serious,” “Tough Bunch,” and the like, I can’t identify many friends and relatives.  But Cousin Nell – her name is there picture after picture.  Always “Cousin Nell.”

But HOW was she a cousin?  Helen’s mother (my great-grandmother Mary Theresa Sheehan Killeen Walsh) had married twice.  So was Nell the daughter of Mary Theresa’s brother or sister?  John Killeen’s brother or sister?  John Walsh’s brother or sister? 

Not knowing any siblings for either of the husbands, I just started searching the obvious:  Nell Killeen.  Nothing.  Nell Walsh.  There was a Nell Walsh, right nearby in Portsmouth, Virginia, just streets away from the Killeen-Walsh home on Charleston Avenue. 

Nell Glynn Sullivan Portsmouth, Virginia about 1919
Cousin Nell
about 1919

I gave myself several good pats on the back.

Then my Aunt Betty gave me an envelope of photos that had belonged to Helen’s oldest sister Lillie Killeen.  It turns out she and Cousin Nell had kept in touch over the years, and Lillie had saved some of the letters.  Nell had married Edward Francis Sullivan, and they lived in San Pedro, California.  How ‘bout that!

Nell sent Lillie her granddaughter’s engagement announcement in the paper.   And that’s when Nell’s genealogy came rolling out.  Shoot!  She wasn’t Nell Walsh afterall.

Heck, she wasn’t even NELL. 

She was ELLEN Frances Glynn, daughter of John Joseph Glynn and Mary Bridget Killeen who was sister to John Killeen, a.k.a. Husband #1.

Ellen “Nell” outlived all her Killeen cousins.

For Numerous Nice News and Notes, visit the A to Z April Challenge.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: M is for Mahulda

This is Day 13 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for Mahulda Jane Frazier.  Mahuldy.  Hulda.  Daughter of Thomas and Julia Ann Frazier Frazier of Rockingham County, Virginia.  My second cousin, three times removed.  And apparently “the other woman extraordinaire.” 

Between 1880 and 1907, Mahulda had 8 children, 4 boys and 4 girls, all who went by the last name “Frazier.”  But if you ask some of their descendents, the father of those 8 was one Francis Marion “Dosh” Garrison. 

Mahulda Frazier
grandson Homer Frazier
If Mahulda and Dosh were ever married, there seems to be no record.  Besides, Dosh was busy being husband and father of 13 little Garrisons with his legal wife, Tex Ann Bruce Garrison (isn’t that a great name?). 

In 1913, six years after the birth of her last child and six years after Dosh’s death, Mahulda married John W. L. Shiflett.  Apparently they had no children together.  No big deal – she had 8 already, and John had 7 with a previous wife (rumor has it he married 6 times, so I don’t think Mahulda was his last).  But if you ask some of Mahulda’s descendents, the father of those 8 children – or some of them at least – was John W. L. Shiflett. 

Yeah, any discussion of “who’s your daddy?” is fightin’ words.

Mahulda died January 4, 1947, in Greene County, Virginia.  She is buried right opposite Tex Ann Garrison.  Isn't life funny?

Frazier women
The Frazier Women
photo courtesy of John and Janet Thompson

  1. Minnie Frazier – Mahulda’s daughter-in-law married to Thomas Jefferson Frazier
  2. Martha Frazier – Minnie’s daughter-in-law
  3. Sarah Frazier – Mahulda’s daughter
  4. Mahulda herself
  5. Violet – Sarah’s daughter and Mahulda’s granddaughter
  6. Minerva – Mahulda’s daughter
  7. Beatrice – Minnie’s daughter-in-law

March on over to the A to Z April Challenge for More Marvelous blogs.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: L is for Lucretia

This is Day 12 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for Lucretia Ann Jollett, my second great grandaunt, sister to my second great grandfather James Franklin Jollett.  Lucretia was the baby of the family born to Fielding and Mary Ann Armentrout Jollett on September 18, 1838, in Rockingham County, the same county where she lived her entire life.

Two mysteries surround Lucretia’s life.  The first concerns her husband. Lucretia first married Jacob Haskell Shiflett in August 1858.  They had two daughters:  Mary (Mayhew) (1859-Before 1955) and Martha (McCauley)(1863-Before 1955).  But something happened to Jacob – I don’t know if he died in the Civil War or if they divorced.   Poof!

In 1871 Lucretia found love once again and married Thomas Shiflett.  They had two more children:  James William Newton “Will” (1873-1955) and John Thomas Sylvester “Sell” (1876-1958). 

And the second mystery concerns the family dynamic.  Was Lucretia on the outs with daughter Mary?  One reason I suspect so is that when Lucretia purchased land from her brother James Franklin Jollett, she expressed in the deed her intention that her two sons and her son-in-law, Martha's husband, would inherit the land if she outlived her husband:  

To have and to hold the said Lucretia Ann Shifflett during her life time & not to be liable for any debt or debts of her said husband and after her decease to become the property of James Wm. Newton Shifflett and John Thomas Sylvester Shifflett and William Jackson Viaral McCauley, the two former being children of the said Thomas S. Shifflett & Lucretia Ann his wife provided that the said mother survives her said husband.  But if her said husband survives her, the said Lucretia Ann Shifflett, then the said Thomas S. Shifflett is to hold the said lot & appurtenances thereto belonging during the remainder of his life, and at his decease, the said lot and appurtenances thereto belonging shall by this conveyance belong to and become the property of the children before mentioned. 

No mention of Mary.

Then look at Lucretia’s will:
I will and bequeath unto my lawful husband Thomas S. Shifflett all of my real estate and personal property to hold and use or to dispose of as he feels desposed to do after first paying all of my lawful debts and burying expenses-also I will or bequest to each of my children Mary E., my love, Martha F. McCauley, J.W. Shifflett and John F. Shifflett one dollar each.
Witness my bond this day 10th of August 1900

Mary gets nothing?  The other three got a dollar, assuming they also would get the land eventually. 

I'm sure there's a story in there somewhere.

Lucretia Jollett Shiflett tombstone
Lucretia's tombstone
Mt. Olivet Cemetery
McGaheysville, Virginia

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