Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Dog Days of Summer #3

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.

Helen Killeen Parker and her dog Charleston Ave, Portsmouth, VA
from the album of Helen Killeen Parker 1918-21
she captioned this "Me and My Dog"

Counting down the number of photos of dogs in my collection

Sunday, July 27, 2014

52 Ancestors: #30 - Ann Elizabeth JOLLETT

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued a challenge:  write one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.  It can be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem – anything that focuses on one ancestor.

This week I’m breaking from my usual plan which has been to report on the oldest names in my various lines (and to update my own research along the way).  But a recent discovery has pushed me a decade further in tracing the whereabouts of one particular family whose collective stories have been  interesting  to say the least – at least to me.  I'm excited to share that story.  

Over the years, I have from time to time come across references to The Freedmen’s Bureau (formally known as Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands).  I knew its purpose was to aid freed slaves at the conclusion of the Civil War.  So it never occurred to me to search for my ancestors through any records of the Freedmen’s Bureau.

Freedmen's Bureau
Wikimedia Commons - public domain
It must have been in a moment of boredom, I suppose, that I clicked on the link to the Freedmen’s Bureau records at FamilySearch and typed “Jollett” into the Search box.  Surprisingly – Amazingly – four hits appeared, all leading to Elizabeth Jollett.

The details in a series of letters and reports convinced me that at long last I had found Ann Elizabeth Breeden/Breeding JOLLETT, the widow of my half second great-granduncle Emanuel Jollett.  I lost her after 1860 when she was last enumerated in Page County, Virginia, along with four daughters and two sons.  In 1870, they were nowhere to be found, save son William who was in jail in Richmond for stealing a horse.  I theorized that Ann Elizabeth and her daughters had married, and perhaps the other son Andrew had died. 

While Ann Elizabeth’s story seemed to have ended in 1860, William’s story was just getting started.  In fact, I wrote a series about William’s life of crime and new identity.  One part of the story in particular always puzzled me:  after William was released from prison in 1874, he went to Shenandoah County to visit family.  That confused me because I knew of no family there, but evidently it was William’s mother and sisters.  How do I know that now for sure?  Because Ann Elizabeth asked the Freedmen’s Bureau in Shenandoah County for help.

What I’ve learned is that the Union soldiers who manned the various posts did more than help former slaves get an education and find work.  In addition to aiding in the transition from slavery to freedom, the Freedmen’s Bureau kept good records of bounty payments, pensions, and records related to property restoration and homesteads.  The Bureau helped reestablish order by investigating instances of violence, mediating labor disputes, and issuing rations to both freed slaves and refugees. 

In one of the letters, Ann Elizabeth Jollett was determined to be a refugee.  When I was in school, “refugee” was not a term that came up in our study of the Civil War.  Come to find out, the term can refer to former slaves, Southern Unionists, and Confederates.  Most often “refugee” means Confederates who had fled their home to escape advancing Union troops.  One of the problems the Bureau faced was that such refugees frequently had trouble finding work or a place to live.  Towns and cities often lacked resources to feed and house refugees, many of whom finding themselves victims of extortion and price-gauging as a result.

Apparently Ann Elizabeth Jollett and her daughters moved from Page County sometime between 1860 and 1866 to the town of Woodstock in Shenandoah County.  Her situation as a refugee is all the more puzzling because there was plenty of family back in Page County, so if she actually fled for her life, I wonder why.   After all, her father-in-law and two brothers-in-law stayed put.  Maybe she had other reasons to move.

So what brought Ann Elizabeth Jollett to the Bureau office?   Fear!  She asked for military protection because the safety of her family was threatened by a gang of men from nearby Edinburg. 

Report of Lt Hall Asst. Supt. (dated Woodstock, Va July 28, 1866) in which he states that a family of women have applied to him for military protection agst. the depredation of a gang of young men lead by an ex-Rebel Captain.  That the [ possibly abbreviations for particular ranks in the army] are afraid to interfere ask instructions.
Bu. R. Fr. & A. L.
H. Qrs. Shen. Div. 
[Headquarters Shenandoah Division]
Winchester Va Augt.1/66

Respectfully referred to Col. J. V.
Bumford, Comdr  Post at Winchester
with the request that the protection
asked for be affirmed
J. H. Remington
Capt. Of Battalion 6
Supt. Shen. Div.

Woodstock, Va
August 1, 1866
Elizabeth Jollett widow
Complains that a gang of young men of Edinburg broke into her house & made indecent proposals also that a magistrate to whom she complained introduced to her house a man under the name of Lt. Hall who tried to compromise the affair.  This same magistrate has since then threatened to burn her house.

B. R. F. & A. L. Asst. Supt. Sub Dist. “D”
Woodstock Va  Aug. 1/66

Respectfully referred to Bat.Maj. J. H. Remington Supt. & c with the request that as the affair seems to have assumed increased disagreeable proportions a small detachment of troops be stationed at this Post.
J. W. Hall
Lt. [?] & Asst. Supt.

Lt. Hall forwards complaint of Elizabeth Jollett, widow, that a party of young men from Edinburg broke into her house & made indecent proposals. Desires military protection.
Bur. R. F. & A. L.
Hd. Qrs. Shen. Div.
Winchester, Va Aug 3/66

Respectfully returned / Lt. Hall, Asst. Supt. for report as to whether this woman is a Refugee or freedwoman.
J. H. Remington
Capt. Bureau [?]
Shen. Div.

B. R. F. & A. L. Asst. Sup. Sub Div D
Woodstock, Va Aug 4/66

Respectfully returned to Maj. J. H. Remington Supt. & C. The sons of the woman are Refugees still.
Very Respectfully,
Your Obt. Servt. 
[Obedient Servant]
J. W. Hall
Lt. [?] & Asst. Supt.

I’m unsure about the mention of “sons” since the first report mentioned a widow and three daughters.  Possibly this was a mental slip or a response to another inquiry as to whether there were any men in the house.  Andrew would have been only 10, so he should have been there unless he was already dead or he was staying with relatives elsewhere.  William, a Confederate soldier, might have been a refugee in Shenandoah County or another location.

Head Quarters 8th US Infantry
Winchester Va July 7th 1866  [I don’t understand this date as it predates the initial report.  Maybe he meant to write August.]

In accordance with S.O. No. 111 Dated Hd. Qrs. Post of Winchester August 5th 1866.  I proceeded to Woodstock and have the honor to submit the following as the result of my investigation.  Upon arriving at Woodstock, I called on Lieut. Hall of B. R. F. & A. L. and learned from him that a family named Jollett had complained to him of threats made against them by some gang of men from Edinburg.  This family consisted of a widow and three daughters.  I afterwards called on the family (who having moved since the complaint was made – and they all agreed that there is no necessity at present for any other protection than they now have. They anticipated no further interference.  Deeming the matter settled for the present I returned to this post.
I am Sir very Respectfully
(signed) Saml. J. Ferris
1st Lieut. 8th US Infantry

Ann Elizabeth had four daughters:  Susan or Susannah, Margaret, Nancy, and Sarah.  However, the reports reference only three.  Nancy most assuredly was one since she supplied a horse for her brother William (Part 2 of the Man on the Run series).  Sarah was only 14, so she was likely one of the three.  Susan was already married but widowed thanks to the Civil War.  She could have been living with her mother or she might have remarried – I have not found her either.  And that leaves Margaret, age 21.  She or Susan – but which one, I don’t know. 

While how the story of Ann Elizabeth and her daughters ended is still a mystery, I am convinced they were in Shenandoah County as late as 1876 when William Jollett passed through on his way to obscurity and rebirth as William Boyd.  A lot could have happened between 1866 and 1876, but if I’ve found this much, I can surely find more.  

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sepia Saturday: A Cure For What Ails Ya

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

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt is a street scene with imposing buildings, most with signs announcing the work offered by their tenants.  When these drivers posed in front of their trucks in 1941, the Elkton Lithia Bottling Company had been in business for about 35 years. 

Elkton Lithia Bottling Company, Elkton, VA 1941
Elkton Lithia Bottling Company
photo courtesy of Casey Billhimer

Bottling lithia water was a logical enterprise for Elkton.  After all, the town is situated near three lithia springs.  These natural mineral springs were unique in that they contained lithium salts known for various health benefits. 

ad in New York Daily Tribune Dec. 1901
from Chronicling America

Newspapers of the late 1890s and early 1900s are full of humorous testimonials affirming the wonders of lithium water.  Eminent doctors with glowing credentials claimed immediate relief from gout, gravel in the bladder, insipient Brights Disease, nervous dyspepsia, rheumatism, “female complaints,” eczema, and just about any disease associated with the kidneys and digestion.  And those claims weren’t in support of just any ol’ mineral water.  No, water from Bear Lithia Springs in Virginia was the best, so there should be no reason for anyone to look elsewhere.

Bear Lithia Springs Hotel 1890s
Hotel at Bear Lithia Springs 1890s
photo courtesy of Casey Billhimer

In the early to mid-1900s, resorts boasting the presence of hot springs and mineral springs were almost guaranteed a steady flow of tourists in search of relaxation and better health.  Elkton was right in the mix with several large hotels advertising not only being close to the lithium springs but also having it available right in the hotel itself.

from Richmond Times Dispatch 1920

An ad for the Elkton Hotel in 1917 promised modern conveniences including private bath, water pumped from the springs, and “no malaria, always cool.”

Bear Lithia Springs is midway between Elkton and the town of Shenandoah where my relatives lived for many generations (and some still do).  They visited Bear Lithia Springs often for picnics, fresh air, and maybe even to cure that nagging nervous dyspepsia. 

This photo was captioned "Bear Lithia Springs Sept. 1924"
Second grandaunt Laura Jollett Sullivan, 2nd grandaunt Victoria Jollett Breeden,
Laura's husband Will Sullivan, Laura's oldest daughter Minnie Sullivan Breeden,
unknown child, unknown woman in glasses, unknown man
grandaunt Violetta Davis holding her hat, Laura's daughter Leota Sullivan in glasses and hat,
grandaunt Velma Davis in hat

While it is now spelled “Bear,” the spelling was originally “Baer” for the family who lived there originally:  Jacob and Barbara Baer, who were among the first German settlers in the Shenandoah Valley.  Small world factoid:  my sister’s college roommate from Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania is a descendant of the Baer family of Virginia. 

For more signs of the times, please visit Sepia Saturday

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Dog Days of Summer #2

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.

Helen Killeen Parker Portsmouth, Virginia about 1920
My grandaunt Helen Killeen Parker about 1920-21
outside her home on Charleston Avenue, Portsmouth, Virginia

Counting down the number of photos of dogs in my collection

Sunday, July 20, 2014

52 Ancestors: #29 - July Ann Catherine SHIFLETT Lamb

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued a challenge:  write one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.  It can be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem – anything that focuses on one ancestor.

My third great grandaunt July Ann Catherine Shiflett was the baby of the family born to Jacob Shiflett and Polly Jarrell in July 1828.  When her father prepared his will prior to his death in 1841, Jacob made special provisions for his unmarried daughter:  $100 over and above what was to be divided equally among all the children. 

Six years later in 1847, though, July Ann married Pemberton Lamb.  Aren’t those fabulous names?  I always thought “July Ann” had a great Southern ring to it, but more often than not, census records spell her name “Julia Ann,” so I have to wonder what her name really was. 

In the 1850 census, there were no children.  Pemberton was a farmer, but he reported no land value, so probably he did not own his own farm at that time.  In 1860, the household boasted one daughter Melissa Ann, age 10.  July Ann’s widowed brother Madison and his children were there too, but apparently only temporarily since Madison was enumerated a second time several months later in his own home.  In 1870, three children were named in the census, and no one in the family could read or write.  Pemberton was still a farmer but with no land value reported. 

By 1880, July Ann and Pemberton’s status must have improved somewhat.  While they didn’t report any land value in the census, Pemberton’s report on the non-population agricultural schedule paints a different picture, although it’s not a glowing report by any means.  He worked only 15 acres of land while 100 acres remained unimproved.  By contrast, his neighbors farmed 30-100 acres.  He estimated his farm, with its fences and buildings, was worth $200 and livestock worth $75; he did not report on the value of machinery and tools.

In the 1900 census, July Ann and Pemberton were “empty nesters.”  She reported having had 15 children, but with only 3 surviving. 

In July 1902, July/Julia Ann applied for a widow’s pension.  Pemberton died that same month from some unreadable condition of the bladder.  Julia Ann was living alone and had no form of income; she also claimed to own no land.  Pemberton had served in the 7th Virginia Regiment Kemper’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division under Longstreet’s Command.  So evidently he saw the horror in Gettysburg. 

Since Julia Ann Lamb’s name does not appear in the 1910 census, she apparently had died by then.


July Ann Catherine SHIFLETT ( Jul 1828 Orange, VA - After 1902 ) & Pemberton LAMB ( Sep 1822 - 18 Jul 1902 Greene Co, VA )  26 Jan 1847 Greene Co, VA

1. Melissa Ann LAMB (1850 Greene Co, VA - After 1910) & m1) James W. TAYLOR ( 1841 – About 1880 Greene Co, VA )  13 Jan 1871 Greene Co, VA ; & m2) Meshack T. SAMUELS ( 1834 Greene Co, VA – 1913 Greene  Co, VA )  19 Jun 1886 in Greene Co, VA

Melissa Ann and James Taylor had the following children:
  • James Edward TAYLOR  ( 1873 Greene Co, VA - 30 Apr 1955 ) & m1) Martha L. BREEDEN ( 1866 Page Co, VA - ) 05 Jan 1893 Page Co, VA ; & m2) Della Marie DEAN (02 Feb 1897 Page Co, VA - 15 Jan 1979 Staunton, VA )  24 Dec 1919 Page Co, VA
  • Charles TAYLOR ( 1878 Greene Co, VA – After  1930 Greene Co, VA ) & He m1) Ardista Florence BREEDEN ( 1879 Rockingham Co, VA - Before 1923 Greene Co, VA  ) 29 Jan 1897 Rockingham Co, VA ; & m2) Mary Ellen Bettie LAMB ( 1890 - )  19 Mar 1923 Greene Co, VA
  • John TAYLOR ( Aug 1879 Greene Co, VA - )

Melissa Ann and Meshack Samuels had the following children:
  • John W. SAMUELS ( 1882 Greene Co, VA - )
  • Joseph SAMUELS  ( Jun 1884 Greene Co, VA - 24 Dec 1914 Greene Co, VA )
  • Thomas Grover SAMUELS ( 07 Mar 1886 Greene Co, VA - Jun 1972 Bloomsburg, PA ) & Elizabeth B. Lizzie LAM ( Aug 1888 Page Co, VA - 28 May 1961 Pennsville, NJ )  12 Oct 1911 Page Co, VA
  • Suel F. SAMUELS ( 29 Jun 1888 Greene Co, VA - ) & Daisy Lee Lessie SNOW ( 1895 - ) 01 May 1917 Monroe, WV
  • Pannie SAMUELS ( 26 Jun 1889 Greene Co, VA - Mar 1974 Madison Co, VA ) & m1) Maggie LAMB ( Dec 1892 Greene Co, VA – 20 Mar 1974 ) 02 Feb 1911 Greene Co, VA ; & m2) Myrtie Mae LAM  ( 04 Jun 1898 Rockingham Co, VA - 05 Jul 1984 Madison Co, VA ) 16 May 1918 Greene Co, VA
  • Cicero SAMUELS ( 07 Sep 1892 Greene Co, VA - Jan 1980 Gordonsville, VA ) & Delia Nellie TAYLOR ( 27 Jul 1896 - 18 Mar 1986 Gordonsville, VA )  15 Jan 1914 Greene Co, VA 
2. Hiram J. LAMB ( 22 Sep 1854 Greene Co, VA - 1922 Greene Co, VA ) & m1) Lucy Ann GEAR (May 1856 Greene Co, VA  -  03 Jun 1917 Greene Co, VA )  20 Jan 1876 Greene Co, VA ; & m2) Virginia “Sis” BREEDEN ( 1876 - )  09 Apr 1919 Greene Co, VA

Hiram and Lucy Lamb had the following children:
  • John Wesley LAMB ( Jan 1877 Greene Co, VA - 19 Nov 1952 Beckley, WV ) & Levvie N. TAYLOR (1880 Greene Co, VA -  09 Dec 1958 Beckley, WV )  18 May 1906 Page Co, VA
  • George Harvey LAMB ( Jun 1878 Greene Co, VA - 24 May 1958 Charlottesville, VA ) & Emma Capitola Annie MEADOWS (24 Feb 1885 Page Co, VA - 06 Oct 1939 Greene Co, VA ) 08 May 1902 Greene Co, VA
  • Alexander LAMB ( May 1879 Greene Co, VA - )
  • James Cal LAMB ( 1883 Greene Co, VA - ) & Maude TAYLOR (21 Mar 1889 Page Co, VA - 11 Jul 1971 Charlottesville, VA )  09 Nov 1916 Greene Co, VA
  • Lucy LAMB ( 1885 Greene Co, VA - )
  • Irvine Dorsey LAMB ( 09 Jan 1887 Greene Co, VA -  05 Mar 1910 ) & Etta Florence SHIFLETT (Jul 1890 Greene Co, VA - )  06 Jan 1910 Greene Co, VA
  • Willie Jackson LAMB ( Oct 1889 Greene Co, VA - Jan 1973 ) & Dalga I. Dollie LAMB (Dec 1898 Greene Co, VA - 25 Nov 1983 Greene Co, VA ) 27 Dec 1917 Greene Co, VA
  • Maggie LAMB ( Dec 1892 Greene Co, VA - 20 Mar 1974 ) & Pannie SAMUELS (26 Jun 1889 Greene Co, VA -  20 Mar 1974 Madison Co, VA ) 02 Feb 1911 Greene Co, VA
  • Mary LAMB (1898 Greene Co, VA - )
Hiram and Sis Lamb had the following child:
  • Floyd LAMB ( 1912 Greene, VA - )
3. Unnamed LAMB ( 1855 Greene Co, VA - 10 Oct 1856 Greene Co, VA )

4. Houston LAMB ( 1858 Greene Co, VA - ) & Ardista JARRELL  ( 1872 Greene Co, VA - ) 1889 Greene Co, VA
  • James LAMB ( 12 Apr 1890 Greene Co, VA -  29 May 1986 Greene Co, VA ) & Carrie Etta UNKNOWN (31 Oct 1895 - 14 Aug 1969 Greene Co, VA )  11 Jun 1913 Greene Co, VA
  • Maud LAMB ( Mar 1892 Greene Co, VA - 15 Sep 1970 Charlottesville, VA ) & Mathew LAMB ( 1876 Greene Co, VA - )  03 Oct 1916 Greene Co, VA
  • Lena B. or Cora LAMB ( 05 Aug 1894 Greene Co, Va - 17 Aug 1972 Greene Co, VA ) & Herndon SHIFLETT (21 Mar 1896 Greene Co, VA - 27 Dec 1968 Charlottesville, VA )  16 Nov 1916 Greene Co, VA
  • Lester B. Lirty LAMB ( 03 Sep 1896 Greene Co, VA - 29 Nov 1968 Falls Church, VA ) & Sadie S. JARRELL ( 27 Feb 1901 - 31 Jul 1939 )
  • Dalga I. Dollie LAMB ( Dec 1898 Greene Co, VA - 25 Nov 1983 Greene Co, VA ) & Willie Jackson LAMB ( Oct 1889 Greene Co, VA - Jan 1973 ) 27 Dec 1917 in Greene Co, VA
  • Gratten Fenton “Dick” LAMB ( 1901 Greene Co, VA - 1973 Greene Co, VA ) & Bertha TAYLOR ( 19 Aug 1905 Greene Co, Virginia, VA - Feb 1984 Greene Co, VA )
  • Levie LAMB  ( 1903 Greene Co, VA - 1972 Greene Co, VA ) & Jesse E. LEIGH ( 30 Jul 1903 Madison Co, VA -  Jun 1986 Greene Co, VA )  04 Aug 1928 Greene Co, VA
  • Ella Pearl LAMB ( 20 Sep 1905 Greene Co, VA - 17 Feb 1986 Greene Co, VA ) & Roy TAYLOR (19 Sep 1899 Greene Co, VA - 02 Jul 1981 Greene Co, VA )  17 Sep 1928 Greene Co, VA
  • Preston LAMB ( 07 Oct 1907 Greene Co, VA - on 21 Feb 1985 Charlottesville, VA ) & Nellie TAYLOR (15 Jul 1918 - 10 Feb 1978 )
  • Lilian LAMB ( 1909 Greene Co, VA - )
  • Luda Luttie LAMB ( 1911 Greene Co, VA - 1939 Greene Co, VA ) & David SNOW  (12 Oct 1912 -  05 Jan 1980 Greene Co, VA )  04 Jan 1934 Greene Co, VA
  • Frank L. LAMB ( 02 Oct 1914 Greene Co, VA - Aug 1985 ) & Mary Branch DEANE ( 02 Jun 1918 - 15 Oct 2010 Greene Co, VA )

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sepia Saturday: Girls Gone Silly

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

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt depicting four chiffon-clad women striking a pose (although I’m not convinced they were really women) called to mind some photos of girls being silly.

July 1925 - it was the summer following my grandaunt Velma’s freshman year in college.  She invited two new friends from Harrisonburg Teachers College to spend a week or so with her in her home in Shenandoah, Virginia.  Olive Williams and Dot Lloyd both lived in Martinsburg, West Virginia, so they might have traveled by train the 90 miles for their summer holiday. Velma’s neighbor and good friend Virginia Cole attended HTC too, so she was part of the fun that day when the girls decided to take pictures doing silly things.
Velma Davis and friends July 1925 Shenandoah, Virginia
Dot Lloyd, Virginia Cole, Velma Davis, Olive Williams
from album of Velma Davis Woodring
dated July 1925

Whether the girls were blowing party horns or chugging a drink, they definitely orchestrated this silly pose. They probably thought they were being hilarious.

Velma Davis and friends July 1925 Shenandoah, Virginia
Virginia, Dot, Velma, Olive

Posing with toes pointed in must have been the 1920’s version of “wacky.”  But what that hand gesture meant, I have no clue. The gestures seem to form a progression.  

In August, it was Olive’s and Dot’s turn to play hostess to Velma and Virginia. Olive wrote to Velma’s mother (my great-grandmother) asking permission for Velma to extend her stay. 

Martinsburg, W. Va
August 19, 1925

My Dear Mrs. Davis:
Velma and Virginia are getting along fine.  We are having a fine time.  Mother certainly is glad that they came home with me and we sure do hate to give them up.

I want to tell you I certainly did have a lovely time while visiting

Velma.  She certainly did show Dot and I both a good time. 

The girls have been staying with Dots some too and Velma has been too [sic] see her cousin and also down to see Rhine’s.

Daddy and Mother wants [sic] to take the girls to Gettsburg [sic] next week and so I am writting [sic] and asking you if Velma might stay another week.  Daddy has already planned 

the trip for them.  That isn’t any longer than I stayed with Velma.  So please let her stay.  Mother and daddy both wants her and Virginia to stay so we can take them on that trip.

Closing, hoping to hear from you in a favorably [sic] reply to my question.

With Love,

Now who could say “no” to that? I wonder what kind of wacky photos they took at Olive's house.

The full range of poses from artistic to silly awaits your visit at Sepia Saturday.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Dog Days of Summer

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.

Helen Killeen Parker about 1921 Portsmouth, VA
Grandaunt Helen Killeen Parker about 1920 Portsmouth, Virginia
Who is this dog?  What was his name?

I wonder how many dog pictures I have.  Let’s find out.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

52 Ancestors: #28 - Virenda Jane SHIFLETT Frazier

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued a challenge:  write one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.  It can be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem – anything that focuses on one ancestor.

My third great-grandaunt Virenda Jane SHIFLETT was the fourth child and first daughter of Jacob Shiflett and Polly Jarrell.  She was born about 1821 in a section of Orange County, Virginia that later became Greene.  Like her brother Burton Shiflett, she married a Frazier:  Michael P. Frazier, more popularly known as “Miley.”  Miley was a younger brother to Burton’s wife Nancy and to Leland Frazier, the one who stabbed Burton to death in 1860. 

While that story about Leland and Burton might be rather shocking, it’s just business as usual for the Frazier men, it seems.  My 94-year old cousin remembered Miley as a real character.  According to one story, he used to ride his horse through the house.  That sounds pretty bad, but read on.

One time Miley woke his nephew John Conway Shiflett because it was his turn to put the coals and wood on the fire. No gentle nudge. No calling out, “Hey, get up!”  No. Miley threw hot coals in Conway’s bed. The two of them started fighting and didn’t stop until the bed burned down to the springs.  They put the fire out and then resumed fighting. 

Probably the worst tale of Miley Frazier concerns Virenda Jane.  Supposedly a man calling on the Fraziers one day found Virenda hanging by her heels from the rafters.

Even though I’ve heard that story many times from different people, I don’t know whether to believe it.  However, it’s actually believable given Miley’s reputation.  He was known to be a terror to Greene County for years.  Ironically, for one who got into lots of fights, he was not a very good fighter; he was nearly disemboweled once.

Poor Virenda Jane – she really had her hands full.  I don’t know the date of her death, but I hope she lived at least until 1902 when Miley, well into his 90s, finally had himself baptized. 


Virenda Jane SHIFLETT ( 1821 Orange County, VA – Bef.  1900 Greene Co, VA ) & Michael P. “Miley” FRAZIER  ( Feb 1814 – Before 1910 Albemarle Co, VA )  14 Jul 1844 Greene Co, VA

1. Julia Ann FRAZIER ( 1845 Greene Co, VA – Bef. 1900 Greene Co, VA) & Thomas J. FRAZIER (1840 – 1918) 04 Jul 1864 Greene Co, VA
  • Thomas FRAZIER ( 1862 Greene Co, VA - ) & Elizabeth GARRISON ( Mar 1861 – After 1907 )  02 Jan 1884 Albemarle, VA
  •  Mahulda Jane FRAZIER ( 22 Mar 1866 Rockingham Co, VA - 04 Jan 1947 Greene, VA )  & John W. L. SHIFLETT  ( 1866 - )  03 Mar 1913 Rockingham Co, VA ; had several children with Francis Marion “Dosh” GARRISON although they never married
2. John T. FRAZIER ( 1847 Greene Co, VA – 1860 )

3. Henry Timber FRAZIER ( 12 Aug 1849 Greene Co, VA - 12 Feb 1931 Greene Co, VA ) & Eliza Susan LAWSON ( Oct 1857 Rockingham Co, VA - )  03 Jan 1874 Rockingham Co, VA
  • Caroline Jane FRAZIER ( 12 Nov 1874 Greene Co, VA  - 09 Mar 1949 ) & John W. L. SHIFLETT ( 1866 - ) 24 Dec 1902 Greene Co, VA
  • Ella Frances FRAZIER ( 1876 Albemarle Co, VA - 05 Jan 1937 Albemarle Co, VA ) &  Noah Clark HERRING 14 Apr 1903 Greene Co, VA
  • Ryland G. FRAZIER ( 06 Jan 1877 Greene Co, VA - ) &  Virgie Catherine SHIFLETT  (Mar 1886 Greene Co, VA -  28 Apr 1962 ) 22 Sep 1907 Greene Co, VA
  • George Henry FRAZIER ( 1879 Albemarle Co, VA - 03 Oct 1965 ) & Martha Fraces SHIFLETT ( 29 Dec 1876 – 11 Jun 1933 )  18 Feb 1901 Greene Co, VA
  • Edgar A. FRAZIER  ( 06 Jun 1880 Greene Co, VA - 23 May 1954 Rockingham Co, VA ) & Bertha Lee SHIFLETT ( May 1892 - 29 Jun 1950 Monongalia, WV )  24 Jun 1906 Greene Co, VA
  • Sarah F. FRAZIER  ( 06 Feb 1886 Greene Co, VA - 06 Feb 1969 Staunton, VA ) & Samuel P. LAWSON (23 Sep 1875 - 25 Jan 1943 Patrick Co, VA )
  • Mary Susan FRAZIER ( Jun 1888 - ) & James Nathaniel FRAZIER ( 16 Jul 1886 Greene Co, VA - 23 Aug 1953 Charlottesville, VA )
  • Victoria Anne FRAZIER ( 26 Sep 1890 Greene Co, VA - 26 Oct 1979 Grottoes, Rockingham, VA ) & James Wise ROSSON 20 Jul 1927 Greene Co, VA
  • William Austin FRAZIER ( 15 Feb 1894 - 18 Nov 1981 Harrisonburg, VA ) & Julia Ann Rosson (23 Apr 1904 -  13 Jul 1993 Charlottesville, VA )
  • Lillian N. FRAZIER ( Feb 1895 - ) & Unknown RIDGEWAY
  • Minnie Lee FRAZIER ( 24 May 1897 Albemarle Co, VA -  Dec 1976 Albemarle Co, VA ) & Thomas Jefferson FRAZIER (15 May 1893 Rockingham Co, VA - 10 Apr 1970 Albemarle Co, VA )  09 Aug 1922 Greene Co, VA
  • William McKinley FRAZIER ( 1901 Greene Co, VA -  1984 ) & Gracie SHIFLETT (1900 – 1984 )
4. Jacob Emanuel FRAZIER ( 1851 – 1920 ) & Frances Jane MORRIS ( - Bef. 1920 ) 26 Dec 1883 Greene Co, VA
  • Rebecca FRAZIER ( 17 Sep 1883 Greene Co, VA - 1967 Charlottesville, VA ) & Moses Sommerville CRAWFORD 05 Jun 1902 Greene Co, VA
  • Loretta FRAZIER ( 1884 Greene Co, VA - 1956 ) & Zachary CONLEY ( 1879 - ) 20 Apr 1911 Greene Co, VA
  • Annie FRAZIER ( 1888 Greene Co, VA - )  & Henry Hudson COLLIER ( 1886 - )  22 Mar 1909 Greene Co, VA
  • Emanuel  A. FRAZIER ( 1891 Greene Co, VA ) & Lucy CONLEY 18 Oct 1911 Greene Co, VA
  • Melvina FRAZIER ( 22 Apr 1892 Greene Co, VA - 11 Aug 1968 Greene Co, VA ) & Thomas MORRIS ( 1884 - )  23 Jun 1908 Greene Co, VA
  • Noah FRAZIER ( 23 Oct 1897 Greene Co, VA - 12 Oct 1984 Scottsville, Albemarle, VA ) & Sydney CRAWFORD  ( 1901 - ) 20 Oct 1919 Greene Co, VA
  • George H. Bluford FRAZIER ( 1900 Greene Co, VA - 1987 Greene Co, VA ) & Amanda COLLIER ( 1900 - )  20 Mar 1919 Greene Co, VA
5. Austin Jackson FRAZIER ( Jun 1855 Albemarle Co, VA - Dec 1921 Greene Co, VA ) & Nancy Frances MORRIS ( May 1852 Greene Co, VA - )  02 Mar 1876 Greene Co, VA
  • Loujourn FRAZIER ( Apr 1877 - ) & Sarah MALLOY (1883 - )  12 May 1922 Greene Co, VA
  • Virenda J. FRAZIER ( 25 Feb 1878 Greene Co, VA -  26 May 1955 ) & John Turner MCALISTER ( 1875 Albemarle Co, VA – 1961 )  02 Jan 1900 Greene Co, VA
  • Arthur Z. FRAZIER ( Feb 1880 - Before 1900 )
  • Althea Z. “Alti” FRAZIER  (15 Mar 1881 Greene Co, VA - 22 Feb 1947 Albemarle, VA )  
  • James Nathaniel FRAZIER ( 16 Jul 1886 Greene Co, VA -  23 Aug 1953 Charlottesville, VA )  & m1) Annie FRAZIER 02 Dec 1906 Greene Co, VA ; &  m2) Mary Lee MCALISTER  (17 Apr 1881 Albemarle Co, VA - 01 Oct 1917 Albemarle Co, VA ) 18 Jan 1911 Albemarle Co, VA ; & m3) Mary Susan FRAZIER (1888 - )
  • George Fountain FRAZIER ( Oct 1890 Greene Co, VA -  03 Mar 1967 Rockingham Co, VA ) & Sarah Mildred ROACH  1910
  • Anjenetta FRAZIER ( Apr 1893 Greene Co, VA - )
  • Barbra E. FRAZIER ( Feb 1894 Greene Co, VA -  Apr 1929 ) & m1) Richard Bruce SHIFLETT ; & m2) Norfield/Warfield MCCAULEY 01 Mar 1909 Greene Co, VA
  • Fannie F. FRAZIER ( Oct 1896 Greene Co, VA - Before 1922 ) & Thomas Jefferson FRAZIER (15 May 1893 Rockingham Co, VA - 10 Apr 1970 in Albemarle Co, VA )  30 Nov 1912 Greene Co, VA
6. J. M. FRAZIER ( 1859 Albemarle Co, VA - )

7. Polly Jane FRAZIER ( 1862 Greene Co, VA -  09 Apr 1936 Greene Co, VA ) & Elvis Sturdivant SHIFLETT ( 1862 Greene Co, VA  – Bef. 1900 Greene Co, VA )  07 Jun 1885 Greene Co, VA
  • Virgie Catherine SHIFLETT ( Mar 1886 Greene Co, VA - 28 Apr 1962 ) & m1) John L. SHIFLETT 13 Jun 1902 Greene Co, VA ; & m2) Ryland G. FRAZIER (06 Jan 1877 Greene Co, VA - )  22 Sep 1907 Greene Co, VA
  • Robert Harrison SHIFLETT ( 07 Nov 1887 - 02 Jun 1970 Albemarle Co, VA )
  • Charlie G. SHIFLETT ( Jun 1889 - )
  • Bertha Lee SHIFLETT ( May 1892 - 29 Jun 1950 Monongalia, WV ) & Edgar A. FRAZIER  ( 06 Jun 1880 Greene Co, VA - 23 May 1954 Rockingham Co, VA )  24 Jun 1906 Greene Co, VA
  • Thomas L. SHIFLETT ( Jan 1894 -19 Oct 1965 Dundalk, Baltimore, MD )
  • James Albert “Spriggins” SHIFLETT (Jan 1895 Greene Co, VA - Mar 1937 Charlottesville, VA ) & Mary Sally TRIPLET (03 Jul 1909 Albemarle Co, VA - 28 Oct 1979 Alexandria, VA )
  • Selena Gertrude SHIFLETT ( 28 Sep 1897 - 06 Nov 1972 Stafford, VA ) & m1) Andrew Allen FRAZIER (20 Apr 1892 -  17 Jul 1968 Albemarle Co, VA )  03 Jan 1912 Greene Co, VA ; & m2) Henry Luther FRAZIER (27 Apr 1904 Albemarle Co, VA - 25 Jun 1968 Stafford, VA )
8. George Dallas FRAZIER ( May 1866 Greene Co, VA - 13 Sep 1949 ) & Pauline Ann “Polly” MORRIS ( 1862 Greene Co, VA – After 1930 )  21 Oct 1886 Greene Co, VA
  • Drucilla FRAZIER (27 Dec 1890 Albemarle Co, VA – 15 Jun 1967 Albemarle Co, VA ) & Alexander Laird GARRISON  (30 Aug 1889 Albemarle Co, VA – 7 Jan 1935 )  24 Nov 1908 Greene Co, VA
  • William M. FRAZIER ( 1891 – Before 1988 )
  • George Mitchell FRAZIER (19 Dec 1892 Greene Co, VA – 04 Jan 1984 Harrisburg, PA ) & Eleanor GARRISON
  • Frances Louemonia FRAZIER (19 May 1896 Greene Co, VA – 9 Dec 1981 Albemarle Co, VA ) & John Thomas SHIFLETT ( 24 Dec 1895 Greene Co, VA – 16 Apr 1959 Albemarle Co, VA ) 31 Jan 1917 Greene Co, VA
  • Christine Helen Jane FRAZIER ( 1898 – After 1960 ) & Lewis Vernon SHIFLETT ( 07 May 1902 Greene Co, VA – 11 Sep 1938 Hummelstown, PA )  19 May 1924 Greene Co, VA
  • Lou Mittie FRAZIER ( 1899 – Before 1988 )
  • James Alfred FRAZIER (18 Jun 1901 – 04 Mar 1988 Albemarle Co, VA )

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Sepia Saturday: What Price Beauty?

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

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt is very familiar to many women:  the beauty parlor.  Several years ago when my hairdresser announced she was giving up hair to pursue a college degree in psychology, I had only 2 things to say:  first, hairdressers ARE psychologists already, and second, it’s easier to find a new ob-gyn than a good hairdresser.  Am I right?

The vanity that drives me to keep a regular hair appointment every 6-7 weeks is surely inherited from my mother.  When I was a child, many women made weekly appointments for a shampoo and set.  My grandmother did, as did my mother for a time. 

But Momma was a do-it-yourselfer when it came to children’s hair.

She cut my bangs. ALL of them!   

Wendy May 1955
May 1955 on my grandmother's sofa

1950s-60s permanent rods
Rods 1950s
And perms!  My hair was so straight that Momma made me sleep in those torture rods to get the Tonette Home Permanent to curl.  (I’ll have to ask my hairdresser to explain the psychology behind saving the very thing that caused me such pain.)

From Google Images
I was never this cute though.

When bleached blond hair was in vogue in the 1960s, I wasn’t allowed to follow that trend.  It was a moral issue.  But in the 70s, Momma was an early adopter of “frosting,” now better known as “highlighting” and “lowlighting.”  When she became fully blond, she decided it would be good for me to color my hair too so that people would think her color was natural.  (Momma wasn't really delusional -- she was funny.)

Another do-it-yourself project. 

Momma and Wendy 1971
DIY Hair 1971

The home kit included a little plastic cap with blue dots marking where to pull the hair through using a crochet hook.  The intended look required punching a hole in every other dot and hooking a few strands of hair for a light, natural highlight.  I’m pretty sure Momma went through EVERY dot with more than just a few strands. 

I still remember the look of horror on Momma’s face when she realized she didn’t have the right bottle of something. Toner, maybe?  There were no 24-hour pharmacies and Wal-Marts then, so I had to sleep in that plastic cap and hope like heck my hair didn’t slide back through the holes. 

Thank-goodness the next day was NOT Sunday, so Momma was able to buy whatever it was she needed and then finish her experiment on my head.

Blond hair looked pretty good for awhile. 

Wendy and Barry Oct 1971
October 1971 Selfie

But the growing out – not so much. 

Wendy 1972 Harrisonburg, VA
Typing with my eyes closed April 1972

Why we didn’t go to the beauty parlor to fix that mess, I can only guess.  Probably chemical processes then were too expensive by my family’s standards.   However, later in life, money was no object when it came to my mother’s hair.  She instructed her hairdresser to make her hair “baby chick yellow.”  Momma often quoted Dolly Parton:  “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.”

Why don’t you just “curl up and dye” with my friends at Sepia Saturday.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.