Friday, October 31, 2014

Sepia Saturday: The Life of the Church

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

This week’s Sepia Saturday photo showing party guests going through the buffet line could have been taken at any one of the many dinners at Cradock United Methodist Church.   Fellowship Dinners are what most Christian churches do.  Cradock was no exception.  In fact, if there wasn’t a dinner on the calendar when we were members back in the 1980s and 90s, we thought something was terribly wrong. 

There were dinners to thank volunteers.

Cradock United Methodist Church Dinner June 1984

Cradock United Methodist Church Dinner June 1984
The "roast" for Reverend Ed was packed.
How did we even get to our seat?

There were dinners to bid farewell to a much loved minister and his family.

There were dinners to welcome the new one.

Cradock United Methodist Church Dinner 1984
Eddie Leonard and Dana Tyson
Cradock United Methodist Church Dinner 1984
Audrey Williams was confined
to a wheelchair, but she
could serve punch.

There were Bunny Breakfasts for the kids at Easter.

Bunny Breakfast Cradock UMC 1986
The children eagerly watched for the Bunny to arrive.

I have long forgotten the many chicken casseroles and lemon meringue pies thoughtfully prepared at home by proud cooks, but I distinctly recall wonderful times spent in the kitchen with the men and women who kept that church alive.

People like Helen Barnes.  She was the Kitchen Nazi. 

Helen Barnes Cradock United Methodist Church
 Helen at the dishwasher
Wow - look at those pans!

She was good-natured but strict, even intimidating until you got to know her.  The kitchen was HER domain and she didn’t let you forget it.  That was one clean kitchen, cleaner than any commercial kitchen, without a doubt.  Helen didn’t let anyone else wash dishes.  You could brush the scraps into the trashcan; you could dry dishes; you could move the dishes to their rightful spot in the cabinets.  But nobody messed with Helen’s pride and joy, her commercial dishwasher. 

Some of the ladies of the Silver Anniversary Circle
Mary Williams, Cookie Mutter, Margaret Spruill,
Sue Scott, Frances Deyerle, Marian Garrett
And people like the ladies of the Silver Anniversary Circle.  My sister and I were among the youngest members.  I miss those days being in the kitchen with all those wise women, those funny women, those crazy women. 

We didn’t run out to a Cosco or Sam’s Club to purchase pre-packaged entrees and salads; we cooked from scratch.  Mary Williams taught me how to make gravy.  Betty Lewis and Margaret Spruill stood alongside me as we cut loaves of bread into cubes for homemade dressing – no bag of Pepperidge Farm turkey stuffing for Cradock's annual Thanksgiving Feast.  Measuring sage.  Mashing potatoes.  Shuttling gravy boats to the buffet table.  It was always a flurry of activity in the kitchen at Cradock Church.  And always laughter. 

Pig Picking Cradock United Methodist Church
Not much left of the pig except the head !
The various circles rotated serving the United Methodist Men at their monthly dinner meetings. It was a good little fund-raiser for the Methodist Women and a strong motivation for the men to come out for the meetings.  The men had their own food-related fund-raisers too such as a pig-picking and a fish fry. 

Men like Ray Spruill, George Mutter, and Buddy Lewis couldn’t wait for their turn at the fryer which was tucked behind the church away from public view.

It’s not because they were selfless volunteers. It’s common knowledge that the Methodists were historically teetotalers very active in the temperance movement. The truth is that the men sneaked a cooler of beer into the boiler room in eyeshot of the fish fryer.  Men will be boys.  One time they were caught by the new preacher who looked at them and said, “I didn’t see a thing.” 

It’s true what they say about the power of food to bring people together, to build community.  People like the Lewises, the Spruills, the Mutters, and Helen Barnes were the life of Cradock Church.  Most of these fine people are gone now.  The dwindling congregation merged with another Methodist church and Cradock closed its doors.  The property has been sold.   But I have my Cradock Church cookbook with recipes and names to remind me of so many good times in a church that once was alive and well feeding its sheep in more ways than with a church dinner. 

Get in line and sample the tasty blogoriffic concoctions prepared by the members of Sepia Saturday.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved

Thursday, October 30, 2014

In Memory of Walter Davis

Walter B. Davis, Shenandoah, Virginia
Walter Beriah Davis
12 Sep 1867 - 30 Oct 1934

Poem by Sallie Clift
Inside the back cover

On the last page of the photo album belonging to my great grandmother Mary Frances Jollett Davis is this poem written on the occasion of my great-grandfather Walter Davis’s death 80 years ago today. 

The poem was written by Mary Frances’s sister Sallie Catherine Clift. 

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Gone to the Dogs #16

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.

Mascot of the USCGC Eastwind 1946-47
Mascot on the USCGC Eastwind 

This is Skunk.  He was a much-loved mascot on the USCGC Eastwind when my dad was in the Coast Guard 1946-47.  I wrote about Skunk HERE.

Counting down the number of photos of dogs in my collection

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

52 Ancestors: #43 - Edward HERNDON

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 5X great-grandfather Edward Herndon (1738-1831) was the son of William HERNDON and Ann DRYSDALE.  In 1762 he married Mary Ann GAINES and together they raised at least twelve children in Culpeper County, Virginia.

Doing the math suggests Edward was just the right age to take up arms along with the militia against the British in the fight for independence in 1776.  Clearly Edward must have been a patriot.  But how much of a patriot was he?  The answer to that question might depend on whom you trust:  the DAR, the SAR, or

Findagrave shows a tombstone for one Edward Herndon buried in Elbert County, Georgia.  Engraved on the stone are his dates:  1768-1827.  A patriot marker rests at the base of the stone.   Another mathematical calculation reveals that THIS Edward was only 7 when the war began and 15 at its conclusion.  So it’s entirely possible that Edward had served briefly; however, THIS Edward was not the same Edward whose service records were presented as evidence for any descendants’ entry into the DAR or SAR.  In fact, THIS Edward was one of the sons of my 5X great-grandfather Edward Herndon.

Will of Edward Herndon, Madison County, Virginia dated 1822
Will of Edward Herndon dated 1822
Madison County, Virginia

Edward’s descendants are aided in their quest to prove their lineage by his will which named all twelve children.  It was dated 1822 and then probated in Madison County, Virginia in 1838, seven years following his death. has quite a few images of applications for membership into the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), all of which seem to lead logically to this Edward; however, proof of Edward’s service has been verified by documents for a different Edward Herndon. 

Will of Edward Herndon, Madison Co, Virginia dated 1822
Edward gave 1 / 12 to each child.
Sons-in-law were to have no rights to his estate.

Fold3 has documents that point to three Edward Herndons, none of which are MY 5X great-grandfather, let alone the ancestor of any of the SAR applicants.  In one case, Reuben Herndon of Kentucky, administrator for the estate of his grandfather Edward Herndon, petitioned for Edward’s pension allowance for the grandchildren.  This Edward, who died in Spotsylvania County, Virginia in November 1837, had only two children, however.  Not MY Edward, the patriot.

Another Edward Herndon died in Spotsylvania County in 1799. Not MY Edward.

The other Edward was a resident of Campbell County although at the time of the Revolutionary War, he resided in Goochland, not far from Culpeper or Madison.  In 1844 he petitioned on his own behalf for the full pay owed him as an officer who had served the duration of the war.  In his application he provided amazing detail of service with corroborating evidence from soldiers who served with him.  Stories of his rise through the ranks and his capture by the British are echoed in numerous applications for membership in the SAR.  But this is not MY Edward Herndon.  How do I know?  Because this one said he left NO wife and NO children.   Yet application after application presents the lineage that can be traced only to my Edward.

On the DAR website the patriot lines look most like mine.  However, even MY Edward’s line has been flagged.  That means a problem has been found in at least one previously verified paper.  If I’m reading the site correctly, it appears someone may have assigned a descendant to the wrong parents.  That doesn’t mean Edward wasn’t a patriot.  According to the DAR, he served in the Culpeper Militia and supplied beef to the Army.  More specific evidence of his service is not available online. 

Fortunately Edward’s son William served too, and his record seems to have stayed out of the melee.

Edward HERNDON ( 16 Jul 1738 Campbell Co, VA – 11 May 1831 Madison Co, VA) & Mary Ann GAINES (May 1742 Orange, VA – 15 Jun 1829 Madison Co, VA)  30 Nov 1762 Culpeper Co, VA

1. James Gaines HERNDON ( 1764 Culpeper Co, VA –  After 1822 Elbert, GA) & Sara THORNTON

2. William Pendleton HERNDON ( 29 Feb 1764 Culpeper Co, VA – 12 Aug 1847 Greene Co, VA ) & Mary RUCKER  (23 Mar 1763 Culpeper Co, VA – 26 Feb 1835 Orange, VA)  28 Nov 1785 Virginia
  • Edward HERNDON ( 13 May 1787 Orange Co, VA – May 1866 Orange, VA ) & Mary BRADLEY  19 Oct 1822  Orange, VA
  • James HERNDON ( 23 Jan 1789 Orange Co, VA – 07 Dec 1857 Madison Co, VA ) & Esther FERNEYHOUGH (1803 – 1892 Madison Co, VA )    30 Dec 1823 Madison Co, VA
  • Ezekial HERNDON ( 07 Dec 1790 Orange Co, VA – 12 Aug 1847 Rockingham Co, VA ) & Sarah JONES (1794 Virginia – Jul 1869 Oskaloosa, IO)  19 Jan 1821 Orange County, VA
  • Elizabeth HERNDON ( 06 Jun 1792 Orange Co, VA – After 1850 ) & Benjamin CASON  17 Dec 1818  Madison Co, VA
  • Mary Pendleton HERNDON ( 02 May 1794 Orange Co, VA – )
  • Abner HERNDON ( 22 Jan 1796 Orange Co, VA – )
  • Rachel HERNDON ( 25 Aug 1797 Orange Co, VA – )
  • William HERNDON ( 29 Jun 1799 Orange Co, VA – )
  • Henry HERNDON ( 09 Sep 1800 Orange Co, VA – )
  • Manson HERNDON (29 Jun 1802 Orange Co, VA – )
  • Joel HERNDON ( 27 Jul 1804 Orange Co, VA – )
  • Thomas HERNDON ( 29 Jun 1807 Orange Co, VA – )

3. Benjamin HERNDON ( 09 May 1765 Culpeper Co, VA – 12 Apr 1805 Elbert, GA ) & Susannah AHART ( 1769 Culpeper Co, VA – 1835 Elbert, GA )

4. Rachel HERNDON ( 1767 Culpeper Co, VA – ) & m1) Jeremiah WHITE ; & m2) Unknown HAWKINS

5. Edward HERNDON ( 06 May 1768 Culpeper Co, VA – 12 Sep 1827 Elbert, GA ) & Nancy Ann RUCKER (1768 Culpeper Co, VA – 1845 Elbert, GA )   18 Aug 1791 Culpeper Co, VA

6. John HERNDON ( 1771 Culpeper Co, VA – 1823 Madison, KY ) & Elizabeth WOOD ( 1775 Orange Co, VA – 1841 Monroe, MO )

7. Elizabeth HERNDON ( 17 Mar 1772 Culpeper Co, VA – 11 Sep 1836 Wilson, TN ) & Richard JARRELL JR. ( 1771 Culpeper Co, VA – 1836 Wilson, TN )

8. Mary HERNDON ( 1774 Culpeper Co, VA – 1828 Madison Co, VA ) & John JACKSON ( 1780 – 1850 Madison Co, VA )

9. George HERNDON ( 12 Apr 1779 Culpeper Co, VA – 10 Dec 1874 Cooper, MO ) & Elizabeth Franky ZACHERY ( 1778 Madison Co, VA – 1847 Cooper, MO )

10. Nancy HERNDON (1780 Culpeper Co, VA – ) & Unknown JORDAN

11. Joel HERNDON ( 1782 Culpeper Co, VA – 03 Jun 1854 Greene Co, VA ) & Lucy QUINN ( 1780 Madison Co, VA – 1865 Madison Co, VA )

12. Henry HERNDON ( 1782 Culpeper Co, VA – 1831 Madison Co, VA ) & Lucinda WOOD (1785 Virginia –  1860 Randolph Co, MO )

© 2014. Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sepia Saturday: We're No Duck Dynasty

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

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt suggests any number of alliterative possibilities including brushes, bellies, British bobbies, bums, and beards.  Unfortunately – or not – I come from a long line of clean-shaven men.  But there are a few memorable beards.

There is a DISTINGUISHED beard:

Billy Long of Shenandoah, Virginia
Billy Long, the father of neighbors
of my great grandparents in Shenandoah, VA

Some GOAT beards:

James Franklin Jollett 1836-1930
My 2X great-grandfather
James Franklin Jollett
John Wesley Jollett 1832-1916
2X great granduncle
John Wesley Jollett

Some GRIZZLEY beards:

Unknown possibly Mitchell Davis
Unknown -- I suspect he is a Davis,
maybe my 2X great grandfather Mitchell Davis

Family of Daniel and Lydia Kohne, Hardy County, West Virginia
Family of Daniel and Lydia Kohne

Family of Adam and Caroline Kohne Hardy County, West Virginia
Family of Adam and Caroline Kohne
my husband's great grandparents
(the littlest girl is his grandmother)

And even some FAKE beards:

I don’t know where I had been – grocery store probably, but this is the scene I came home to in August of 1993. 

Mathias girls and friends
Left to right:  Kim age 10, Jordan age 12
Meghan age 13, Zoe age 10

Masking tape beards and rolled paper cigarettes always make a game of cards more fun.  (And for the record, the beer was NOT opened, thank-goodness.)   

Whether the idea sprang from boredom or mischief, those girls set the bar high on creativity. 

For more beards and maybe some bellies and bobbies, get your bum over to Sepia Saturday.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

FGS Ambassador: Do As I Say

The Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City will be THE place to be February 11-14, 2015.  The Federation of Genealogical Societies and RootsTech are planning a special event:  2 conferences in 1.  It promises to be the Mac-Daddy of conferences combining methodology and technology for both amateur and professional genealogists.

And I’m going to miss it. 

Chalk it up to poor timing.

Here’s what I’ll be missing:

A chance to Connect
·         With bloggers – It’ll be a regular homecoming, a family reunion of “best friends” who have never met except online; they’ll be wearing their blogger beads, taking selfies, congratulating each other on creating such interesting blogs.  But without me!
·         With societies – Historical and genealogical societies will be sharing exciting projects and programs to inspire the next generation of family historians. 

A chance to Explore
·         New topics – Missionaries and Settlers; Ethnic Groups in the West; Wagon Trains and Railroads.  These are just 3 of the tracks and frankly, I can’t think of one of my ancestors for whom any of these apply but I KNOW from past experience that the strategies or techniques the speakers bring to such topics can be applied to my research too.  Besides, they just sound interesting in their own right.
·         New technology – I always feel at least two steps behind when it comes to technology, so a conference is the perfect place to see what’s new and to see it in practice.
·         Vendors – Book sellers, publishers, genealogy jewelry, genealogy gifts, tombstone cleaner, data backup services, you name it and they will be in the exhibition hall.  It’s the family historian’s candy store!
·         Education opportunities – I have no ambitions to become a professional genealogist, but I do want to improve my skills.  I imagine there will be SOMEONE there promoting SLIG, NIGR, and IGHR.  But what else? 

A chance to Refresh
·         I’ve been to ONE genealogy conference, and even then I missed the first two days.  Yet with the few sessions I attended, I already feel like a better researcher and a more focused blogger.  That’s the power of attending a conference.  Moments of self-doubt, thoughts of “why am I doing this research when my family doesn’t care,” and frustration with the whole genealogy thing magically vanish.  The enthusiasm of like-minded people is truly contagious.

So I hope you’ll “Do as I say, not as I do” and make plans to be in Utah in February for FGS and RootsTech.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Gone to the Dogs #15

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.

Fred Slade
My granddaddy Fred Slade
with the Moores' dog

My granddaddy Fred Slade kept a kennel of beagles at his sister and brother-in-law's property on Jolliff Road in Chesapeake, not far from where I live now.  When I was just a baby, George and Margaret Moore owned that German Shepherd.  It was not a particularly nice dog, but it liked me.  In fact, it stood guard when my parents put me down for a nap and wouldn't let anyone near me.  

Counting down the number of photos of dogs in my collection

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

52 Ancestors: #42 - Darby QUINN

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.

Darby QUINN – is that not the cutest name to find in one’s ancestral tree?  Being very Irish on my father’s side of the family, I was surprised to discover this bit of Irish goodness on my mother’s side.  But just “how Irish” is questionable.  A quick look through other people’s research on reveals that most believe the parents of my 7X great-grandfather came from England even though some say Darby himself was born in Ireland. 

One researcher even reported a family legend about Darby’s GRANDSON:  that the grandson had been kidnapped in Ireland and brought to America as a child and that based on his fine clothing he must have come from wealth.  However, this story is unlikely to be true since Darby Quinn had been in America since a teenager in 1712.

Darby died in Culpeper County, Virginia.  He held deeds in Orange County, but it is likely his home in Culpeper had at one time been part of Orange since so many counties were carved out of Orange.

Brumfield/Bromfield Parish where his will was recorded straddled the line between present-day Culpeper and Madison counties.  In a number of deeds, Darby’s land is described as being on the Rapidan River.

Little is known of his life other than a few records left behind including a will, some deeds, and his name as witness on a number of neighbors’ deeds.

Deed Bk. 3-4 1738-1741
Mar. 22, 1738 David and Mary Phillips of St. Mark's Parish in Orange Co. to Darby
Quin of Drysdale Parish of King and Queen Co., 20 pounds current money, 200 acres
in the fork of the Rapidann River...on a branch of Beautiful Run corner to Nicholas
Christopher...on Michael's Branch ... in the fork of a branch of Beautiful Run..
Witnesses: Robert Cave, John Mackdaniel, and Joseph Amons

Deed Book 10 pp. 517-518 July 23, 1747
Deed of Gift to Elizabeth Quinn Bruce

Know all men by these presents that I, Darby Quinn of Orange County, do by these presents for several good Causes and consideration and for the love and goodwill me thereunto moving Give Grant bargain make over and confirm unto my well Beloved Daughter Elizabeth Bruce all and singular the parts and parcels of my Estate as follows: (viz) Negro Robin and Negro Jane and all the time of service hereby indenture of a ... woman named Catherine McCoy, nine head of cattle, one mare, one horse, four head of sheep, sixteen hogs one featherbed and furniture two iron pots one small chest one table and pewter dish one pewter basin two pewter plates two chairs one washing tub two pails one Great Bible two  … axes one candlestick ten pewter spoons one raw hide one side of tanned leather one large bottle two Earthen Muggs seven mislings of bason, sixteen hundred pounds of Tobacco twelve barrens of Indian corn two geese one handsome great augre one spinning wheel ten pounds of cotton unspon one iron pestle one iron ... one grubing hoe, two weeding hoes two hilling hoes one frying pan one fine wheat sive one coarse sive one plough hoe one iron chair one pint bottle one iron form one brick band three case knives and forks one cotton and Haymes one rendering [?] tub, four bushels of rye, four wooden noggins, one pepper box, which said above Negroes, good and chattels, I give to my daughter Elizabeth Quinn with all the increase for the future of the said negroes same with all the future increase of the above said cattle and all the future increase of the said mare to have and to hold the said Given and Granted Negroes, Good and Chattels to her by said Daughter Elizabeth Bruce her heirs and assigns.

To have and to hold the same forever from me the aforesaid Darby Quinn my certain attorney or assigns forever.

In witness whereof I have hereunto sit my hand and seal this 31st day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-seven.

Darby Quinn

Signed Sealed and Delivered
in the presence of us
Robert Sharman
Lucy Sharman

Will Book A, 1749-1770  pp. 137-138
Darby Quinn, Brumfield Parish, Culpeper Co, VA (1754)

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN, I Darby Quinn of Brumfield Parish in Culpeper County, planter, being very sick and weak in body but in perfect health of mind and memory, thanks be to almighty God for the same, but calling to mind the certainty of death and that all men must die and as touching all such worldly estate that it hath pleased God to bless me with, do make this my last will and testament revoking, disallowing and disannulling all other Wills and Testaments heretofore made and given by me allowing this only this to be my last will and testament. Imprimiss: I give and bequeath my soul to God that gave it me and my body to the earth to be buried in a christian like manner.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my son Richard Quinn all that tract of land containing by Patent four hundred acres lying in Frederick County which said land I took up and the Patent is in my own name and I give the same to my son Richard and his heirs lawfully begotten.
Item: I will and desire that the writing formerly made by me shall be and remain as it is.
Item: I will and desire that what other of my personal estate that is not mentioned and given in the above said writing shall be equally divided between my two children, viz: Richard Quinn and Elizabeth Bruce and in case either of them should die before such division be made that then the heir of either of them that shall die shall have the part of the dec'd part of my estate.
Item: I constitute, ordain and appoint my son Richard Quinn my sole Executor of this my Last Will and Testament. IN TESTIMONY whereof I have this twenty first day of December one thousand seven hundred fifty four set my hand and seal.
Darb X Quinn  his mark
Signed, seal'd, published and pronounced in the presence of Robert Sharman William Alexander Ann Sharman
At a Court held for the County of Culpeper Thursday, the 16th day of September 1756.


DARBY QUINN (1696 Ireland or England – 16 Sep 1756 Culpeper Co, Va) & Mary ASHWORTH ( 1698 Virginia – 21 Dec 1754 Culpeper Co, VA )  1718 Culpeper Co, VA

1. Elizabeth QUINN ( 1719 Culpeper Co, VA – 1793 Bland, VA) & George G. BRUCE ( 1713 Augusta Co, VA – 1787 Bland, VA)   1738 Culpeper Co, VA
  • George BRUCE ( 1739 Augusta Co, VA – 1808 Lexington, Fayette, KY)
  • Martha BRUCE ( 1741 Augusta Co, VA – 1786 )
  • Elizabeth BRUCE ( 1743 Augusta Co, VA – 1803 )
  • Charles Austin BRUCE ( 30 Oct 1745 Culpeper Co, VA – 31 Jul 1833 Greer, Greenville, SC)  &  Margaret Hannah RAMSEY (1741 Culpeper Co, VA – 1822 Spartanburg, SC )
  • Benjamin BRUCE ( 1750 Culpeper Co, VA – 31 Dec 1809 Clark Co, JY ) & Mildred Millie WATTS ( 1753 Albemarle Co, VA – 1842 Clark  Co, KY )  26 Mar 1773 Albemarle Co, VA
  • William BRUCE (1752 Orange, VA – 1814 Giles Co, VA ) & Anne Nancy BALLARD ( 1755 Albemarle Co, VA – 1811 Giles Co, VA )  1775 Albemarle Co, VA
  • Richard BRUCE ( 1754 Albemarle Co, VA – 1813 Loudoun, VA ) & Catherine Caty WHITE (1744 Virginia – 1784 Virginia )  1773 Albemarle Co, VA

2. Richard QUINN ( 1724 Culpeper Co, VA – 18 Oct 1790 Culpeper Co, VA ) & Elizabeth MANN (1724 – 1793)  1738 Culpeper Co, VA

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sepia Saturday: Portraits on Glass

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

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt features a hand-colorized photograph of a street artisan.  The process of applying watercolors, pastels, or other paints and dyes to a black and white photo was very popular before the invention of color-photography.  My great-grandparents certainly kept up with the trends by making sure their children sat for a special photo that then was colorized. 

Josy Davis (1901-1903) and Orvin Davis (1899-1963)
Josy Davis and Orvin Davis
probably 1903

This portrait of my maternal grandfather Orvin Davis and his younger sister Josy held a spot on my grandparents’ fireplace mantel for years.  The picture is on a 3”x4” piece of white glass.  I have been unable to determine if such glass portraits had a special name, but the hand-colorizing is obvious since I also have the corresponding sepia photo.

Josy Davis (1901-1903) and Orvin Davis (1899-1963)

Violetta Davis (1904-1989) and Velma Davis (1908-1968)
Left:  Violetta Davis Ryan
Right:  Velma Davis Woodring

Portraits of my grandfather’s other sisters have found their way into my possession too.  I used to imagine that my great-grandmother Mary Frances Jollett Davis had organized a big day at the photography studio with her children, but it dawned on me that the children all seem to be the same age.  Perhaps Walter and Mary Frances decided “Age 2” (or thereabouts) was the perfect age for a special portrait session.  It also looks like the three girls are wearing the same dress. 

When my sister and I cleaned out our parents’ home, another special portrait emerged from the closet.

Josy Davis (1901-1903)

This 16”x20” portrait of Josy looks almost like the small glass portrait but with my grandfather “photoshopped” out, to use a modern term.  It appears never to have been framed. 

Why was the portrait in a manila envelope rather than a frame?  Why are there no similar portraits of the other children?  I think I know the answer.  Josy probably died shortly after this portrait was made.  Maybe Mary Frances and Walter meant the large portrait to be a tribute but chose not to be reminded of such a sad time by displaying it. 

Tombstone of Josy Davis and Kenneth Davis
Josy and another child Kenneth share a tombstone
at Coverstone Cemetery, Shenandoah, Virginia.
Kenneth did not live long enough for a portrait.

Please visit the colorful artisans of the blogosphere at Sepia Saturday.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Gone to the Dogs #14

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.

My granddaddy Fred Slade had a kennel of hunting dogs that he kept at his sister's property in nearby Nansemond County.  But these are not hunting dogs.  I wonder who adopted whom.

Slade dogs on Tanner Place, Portsmouth, VA 1940s
Family dogs at my grandparents' home 1940s
Fred and Julia Slade
Tanner Place, Portsmouth, Virginia

Counting down the number of photos of dogs in my collection

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

52 Ancestors: #41 - Anthony Jacob HENCKEL / HINKLE

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.

When my 4X great-grandparents Mary Elizabeth HINKLE and her husband Jacob Foland migrated from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to eastern Tennessee in the early to mid-1800s, they were imbued with the same spirit of optimism that drove generations before them to leave the old country and board ships sailing for a new life in the colonies across the Atlantic Ocean. 

Did Mary Elizabeth’s father George HINKLE tell her the story of his great-grandfather’s journey to America?  Did he inspire her to feel pride in her Hinkle roots?

The progenitor of the Hinkles and Henkels in America today is my 8X great-grandfather Anthony Jacob HENCKEL (1668-1728), son of Georg Henckel (1635-1678) and Anna Eulalia Dentzer (1640-1700).  He was born in Mehrenberg, Germany in 1668.  Anthony Jacob studied at University of Giessen, a Lutheran college and one of the oldest schools of higher education in Europe.  It was the same school where his father Georg had studied to become a schoolmaster. 

Anthony Jacob was ordained a Lutheran minister on February 28, 1692.  He served in various parishes around Heidelberg, Germany for twenty-five years.   So what made Henckel decide to accept William Penn’s invitation to help settle his new colony in America? 

One theory is that Reverend Henckel had found himself in some legal trouble that he was not likely to win.  A Catholic priest had requested permission for his congregation to share Henckel’s church, which he refused to do.  The priest broke into the church with an axe and the two fought.  Henckel complained to the patron of the church who did not give him much support. 

In a second case, Henckel complained that the patron of the church was using lands belonging to the church and keeping the tithes.  Not surprisingly the patron not only denied the charges but also slandered Henckel’s good character.  Who needs such grief?  

So at almost 50 years old, Anthony Jacob, his wife Maria Elizabeth and their 7 adult children arrived in Philadelphia in September 1717.  In fact, he and his son-in-law Valentine Geiger were leaders of a large group of Lutherans who arrived on three ships. 

The next year, Henckel purchased 250 acres in New Hanover and remained there the rest of his life.  He continued his calling as a minister throughout the area and even started several Lutheran churches.  In 1721 he founded St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Germantown which continues today.  

St. Michael's Lutheran Church in Germantown, Pennsylvania
St. Michael's Lutheran Church
Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Reverend Anthony Jacob Henckel died in August 1728 from injuries sustained in a fall from his horse.  He was returning to his home in New Hanover following a visit with an ill parishioner in Germantown.  Evidently he knew the end was near and so delivered his will orally before witnesses.  First, to his wife he left his estate, both real and personal, provided she did not marry again.  If she were to marry, she would retain her third according to law.  Second, he willed his 250-acre plantation in New Hanover to his two youngest sons who would take ownership upon the death or remarriage of their mother.  They were instructed to pay each of the other five children 100 pounds in Pennsylvania currency.  Finally, he gave an extra five shillings to his eldest son beyond the 100 pounds his brothers would pay him.

Tombstone of Anthony Jacob and Maria Elizabeth Henckel
Tombstone of Reverend Henckel and his wife
photo courtesy Dean Roth

Anthony Jacob Henckel and his wife Maria Elizabeth are buried in the St. Michael’s Lutheran Church Cemetery.

Anthony Jacob Henkel
Founder & First Pastor
St. Michael's Church
Born 1668   Died 1728

Maria Elizabeth Henkel
His wife
Born 1671   Died 1741

SOURCES:  The Henckel Genealogy, 1500-1960: Ancestry and Descendants of Reverend Anthony Jacob Henckel, 1668-1728, Pioneer Evangelical Lutheran Minister, Emigrant from the German Palatinate to America in 1717 [database on-line].  Provo, UT:  The Generations Network, Inc. 2005. Original data:  Junkin, William Sumner.  The Henckel Genealogy, 1500-1960: Ancestry and Descendants of Reverend Anthony Jacob Henckel, 1668-1728, Pioneer Evangelical Lutheran Minister, Emigrant from the German Palatinate to America in 1717. Spokane, WA: Henckel Family Association, 1964.

“Henckel-Elsworth Families.” My West Virginia Pioneer Families. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <>.

“History: Generations of Henckels.”  The Henckel Family National Association. The Henckel Family National Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <>.

“Our History.”  St. Michael’s Lutheran Church.  Web.  07 Oct. 2014.  <>.

Weis, Frederick Lewis. The Colonial Clergy of the Middle Colonies: New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, 1628-1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub., 1978. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <>.

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