Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Sallie Jollett Clift

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

Mrs. Clift Dies; Funeral Today At Shenandoah

SHENANDOAH, July 9 – Mrs. Sallie Clift, 73, widow of George T. Clift and a former resident of Shenandoah, died Friday in Garfield Hospital in Washington following an illness of six weeks. She had been in failing health for several years.

Mrs. Clift, who made her home in Shenandoah until six months ago when she went to live with her children in Washington, was a daughter of the late James and Lucy Ann Jollett, of Greene County.

Surviving are two sons, Leonard and Raymond Clift, of Washington; one daughter, Mrs. Wilson Suite, of Washington; three sisters, Mrs. A. J. Coleman and Mrs. Laura Sullivan of Shenandoah; and Mrs. W. B. Davis, of Harrisonburg; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Monday afternoon at two o’clock from the Shenandoah United Brethren Church. Services will be conducted by Elder E. L. Cave assisted by the Rev. P. W. Fisher.

The body will arrive Monday morning and lie in state at the church until the hour of the funeral.

And from The Page News & Courier edition of 13 July 1944 page 4 column 6

Mrs. Sallie Catherine Clift, age 73 years, widow of the late George T. Clift, died at Garfield Hospital, Washington, D. C. on Friday, July 7, 1944 after several years of illness.

Mrs. Clift had been a patient in the hospital three weeks prior to her death.  A heart condition following several parlytic strokes ending in pneumonia, caused her death.

 Mrs. Clift was born in Greene County on May 10, 1871 and spent her younger life there. She was the daughter of the late James Franklin Jollette and Lucy Ann Shifflett Jollette. After her marriage to Mr. Clift she moved to Shenandoah. During the later years she spent a good part of her time with her children in Washington. She was a member of the Shenandoah U. B. Church and her body was brought there early Monday morning where it lay in state until 2:00 in the afternoon when her funeral was conducted by Elder B. L. Cave assisted by the Rev. P. W. Fischer.

 Mrs. Clift is survived by her three children: Leonard K. Clift, Raymond B. Clift, and Mrs. (Alda) Wilson Suite; seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren and three sisters:  Mrs. A. J. (Emma) Coleman, Mrs. W. B. (Mollie) Davis, and Mrs. W. J. (Laura) Sullivan. Two sisters and three brothers are deceased:  Mrs. Victoria Breeden of Washington, D.C., Mrs. Mitchel (Leanna) Knight of Greene County, U. F. Jollette of Baltimore, B. L. Jollette and Isaac Jollette, of Green County. Burial was in the U. B. Cemetery.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Is that you, Sallie?

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.

Sallie Jollett Clift wedding picture 1891 Greene County, Virginia

I wanted desperately for this photo to be of Lucy Ann Shiflett Jollett. However, all the clues for dating the photo say otherwise. The sleeves in particular point to the 1890s, not the late 1850s that would have applied to Lucy.

The woman looks most like Sallie Catherine Jollett. The flowers in her bodice suggest this might be a wedding portrait, thus dating this photo to 1891.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: Sallie Clift

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

Even though Sallie Jollett Clift lived with her children in Washington D.C. at the end of her life, they brought her back to Shenandoah where she had lived for over 50 years. She is buried at the Coverstone Cemetery (formerly EUB Church Cemetery) where her first two children and most of her sisters and brothers are as well.

dau of
Geo T and Sallie
died Apr 8, 1897
Aged 3 yrs 6 mos and 8 days
Suffer the little children to come 
unto me and forbid them not 
for to such is the kingdom of heaven.
son of
Geo T and Sallie
Died Mar 30, 1897
Aged 5 yrs 0 mos and 15 days
The LORD gave and the LORD
has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Monday, July 25, 2016

James Franklin Jollett's Kids: Sallie Clift

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

Sallie Jollett
Sallie Jollett
In May 11, 1872, James Franklin and Lucy Ann Jollett welcomed their sixth child, another girl, and named her Sallie Catherine. She attended school near Swift Run and learned to read and write.

At age 19, she married George Thomas Clift of Page County and moved to Shenandoah where George worked for the Norfolk & Western Railroad. They started a family right away. Within two years, they were the perfect American family with a little boy and a little girl. In five years, though, their perfect life was no more. Their two precious children died due to injuries from a house fire. Little Vernon died just 2 weeks after his 5th birthday, and Daisey followed a week later.

George and Sallie Clift, Vernon Clift, Daisey Clift
George and Sallie Clift
Vernon and Daisey
about 1894 or 1895

Although Sallie and George had 3 more children, their marriage was never the same. George’s work with the railroad required quite a bit of travel allowing him to explore a number of relationships with other women over a period of many years. In 1913, Sallie discovered love letters hidden in various places around their house and property.

There was no reason for Sallie to whimper and beg George to remain faithful. There was no reason to profess her love anymore. His treatment of her had become abusive over time, both verbally and physically. When Sallie found the letters, she also found some inner strength to take action.

Sallie tracked down the latest girlfriend and knocked on her door. Sallie demanded she hand over George’s love letters or she would tell the girl’s parents.

Over 35 letters and postcards were entered into evidence in the divorce case of Sallie C. Clift vs. George T. Clift. All Sallie wanted was sole custody of their three children and money to help take care of them. Although George tried to blame Sallie, claiming SHE was the abusive one, SHE was the one who lost interest in their marriage, SHE was the one who abandoned him by refusing to cook his meals, the Court sided with her, granted a divorce, and awarded her $7 in monthly alimony.

The two younger children had nothing to do with George Clift after that, but the oldest son and his wife kept in contact, perhaps out of pity or obligation.
Sallie Jollett Clift about 1942 or 1943
Sallie Clift about 1942 or 1943
used by permission of great-grandchildren
The children obviously understood what their mother had endured for so many years, and they sympathized with her plight. They appreciated all she had done to take care of them. After she died, her daughter Alda and Alda’s daughters wrote poems for the newspaper in memory of Sallie.

Sallie Catherine JOLLETT (11 May 1872 Greene Co, VA – 7 Jul 1944 Washington D.C.) and George Thomas CLIFT (Sep 1865 Page Co, VA - ?) married 30 Mar 1891 Luray, Page Co, VA
  1. Vernon F. CLIFT (15 Mar 1892 Shenandoah, VA – 30 Mar 1897 Shenandoah, VA)
  2. Daisey L. CLIFT (8 Aug 1893 Shenandoah, VA – 8 Apr 1897 Shenandoah, VA)
  3. Leonard Jennings CLIFT (29 May 1899 Shenandoah, VA – 18 Dec 1977 Calvert Co, MD) and Lena Mae SECRIST (8 Mar 1900 Roanoke, VA – 3 Jan 1980 Prince Georges, MD) married 31 Aug 1918 Hagerstown, MD
  4. Raymond Bertram CLIFT (27 Sep 1900 Shenandoah, VA – 14 Jun 1985 Arlington, VA) and Jessie Rebecca Oliver LLOYD (26 Aug 1908 Augusta Co, VA – 19 Mar 1991 Alexandria, VA) married 21 May 1927 Baltimore, MD
  5. Alda Beatrice CLIFT (5 Jun 1905 Shenandoah, VA – Jun 1982 Prince Georges, MD) and 1) Leon Dewey Monger (25 Jul 1899 Page Co, VA – 15 Apr 1953 Norfolk, VA) married 15 Jan 1920 Hagerstown, MD; 2) Wilson SUITE (1905 St Marys Co, MD – Jul 1960 Washington D. C.)  married after 1930

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Mary Frances and Walter

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

Mrs. Davis Dies;
Funeral Friday

Mrs. Mary Frances Davis, widow of Walter Beriah Davis and a resident of Harrisonburg for the past 13 years, died Wednesday afternoon at three o’clock at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Violetta Ryan, 473 South Mason Street.

Mrs. Davis suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on October 6 and was for three weeks a patient at the Rockingham Memorial Hospital.  She returned to her residence on October 27 and seemed to be improving until three weeks ago when her condition became critical.

A daughter of the [sic.] James F. and Lucy Ann Jollett, she was born in Greene County, where she spent the early part of her life and attended public schools.
Following her marriage on February 11, 1890 to Walter Beriah Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Davis resided at Shenandoah for forty years.  For the past 13 years, Mrs. Davis has been making her home with her daughter in Harrisonburg.

Mrs. Davis was a quiet, unassuming person with many fine qualities.  Her cheerful disposition and lovable nature endeared herself to all with whom she came in contact.

Mrs. Davis united with the church in early life and was a faithful member of the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Shenandoah where she had taken an active part in its various organizations.

The last surviving member of a family of nine children, Mrs. Davis is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Velma Woodring, Martinsburg, W. Va., and Mrs. Violetta Ryan, Harrisonburg; two sons, Millard M. Davis, Shenandoah and Orvin O. Davis, Portsmouth; two grandchildren Orvin O. Davis, Jr., Shenandoah, and Miss Mary Eleanor Davis, a student at Madison College; two great grandchildren Glenn Edward Davis and Miss Barbara Ann Davis, both of Shenandoah.  Her husband, a well known building contractor, preceded her in death on October 31, 1934.

Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon at two o’clock from the Shenandoah Evangelical United Brethren Church, with her pastor, the Rev. P. W. Fisher, in charge of the services assisted by Dr. E. E. Miller.  Burial will be in the family lot in the United Brethren Cemetery in Shenandoah.  Nephews will serve as active pallbearers.

The body now rests at the Lindsey Funeral Home on South Main Street where it will remain until twelve o’clock Friday when it will be taken to the church to lie in state from one o’clock until the hour of the services.  Relatives are asked to meet at the home of her son, Millard M. Davis, 407 Sixth Street in Shenandoah, Friday afternoon at one-forty.


Walter B. Davis, aged 66, died at his home in Shenandoah on Thursday night after several years of declining health. The immediate cause of his death was Bright Disease and heart trouble. He is survived by his wife, who before marriage was a Miss Jollett and four children: Millard M. Davis, of Norfolk, Va.; O. O. Davis of Shenandoah; Miss Violetta Davis of Harrisonburg and Mrs. Velma Woodring of Martinsburg, W.Va., and several brothers and sisters. The deceased is a native of Greene County though has been living in Shenandoah for the past forty years. For many years, he followed the carpenter trade and later operated a grocery store in Shenandoah now run by his son O. O. Davis. Mr. Davis was quiet and unobtrusive and had many friends who regret to hear of his passing. The burial will take place Saturday at 2 p.m. preceded by short services at the U. B. Church by Rev. Lee E. Sheaffer.

from the Richmond Times Dispatch Nov 4, 1934

Shenandoah, Nov. 3 – Funeral services were held today for Walter Davis, 67, well-known Shenandoah merchant. Services were conducted by the Rev. Lee E. Sheaffer. Mr. Davis is survived by his widow and four children: Orvin Davis, Shenandoah; Miss Violeta Davis of the State Teachers’ College, Harrisonburg; Mrs. Woodring, Martinsburg, W.Va., and Millard Davis, Norfolk. The following brothers and sisters also survive: Mrs. Marshall, Mrs. Morris, and Lorenzo Davis, Washington, and Mrs. Bruce Davis McGaheysville.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Sepia Saturday: Hotels and Motels

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

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt features a lovely 1930s hotel room outfitted in the popular Art deco style. The two beds, seemingly a requirement in most hotels, immediately grabbed my attention because of this photo in my collection:
Unknown woman Courtesy Court Motel St. Augustine, Florida
two double beds
The identity of this lovely woman stretched out across one of the chenille-covered beds is not known, but I know where she was and when.

It was June 25, 1941. She was in the Courtesy Court Motel located on Route 1 in St. Augustine, Florida. It says so right on the back. (Couldn’t she have included her name?)

Postcard Courtesy Court Motel
St. Augustine, Florida

There are numerous postcards for sale on eBay featuring St. Augustine’s Courtesy Court. Like most motels of its era, it was a one-story building of connecting rooms all opening onto the parking lot. There was a manager’s office and swimming pool surrounded by picnic tables and Adirondack chairs.

The postcards from the 1960s boast of such amenities as a telephone, television, and air conditioning. In 1941, however, there was a small fan sharing real estate with a lamp on the table between the beds. What do you want to bet that there was a Gideon bible in the drawer?

Postcard Courtesy Court Motel
St. Augustine, Florida
Since my great-grandmother Sudie Rucker enjoyed her annual trips to Florida, it has occurred to me that maybe this unidentified woman accompanied her or was someone Sudie visited.

Whoever she was, this mystery guest of the Courtesy Court did some touring in St. Augustine. She went to the Hotel Alcazar, which today houses the Lightner Museum. However, the nature and extent of her visit leaves a question mark. The hotel, built in 1887 to appeal to wealthy tourists, closed in 1932. It did not become a museum until 1947. Perhaps the Spanish Renaissance Revival architecture simply attracted visitors even if there was nothing going on there.
Unidentified woman Hotel Alcazar in St. Augustine, Florida
at the Hotel Alcazar June 25, 1941
St. Augustine, Florida

I doubt the Alcazar had chenille bedspreads.

Hop out of bed and take a tour of Sepia Saturday to see how my friends have been inspired by the prompt photo.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Davis Babies

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.

Unidentified Baby in album of Mary Frances Jollett Davis

Unidentified Baby in album of Mary Frances Jollett Davis

These photos of babies are in the album belonging to Mary Frances Jollett Davis. Possibly they are her sons Millard and Orvin. But I also wonder if one could be Elsworth O., the baby who died in 1893.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: The Davis Plot

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

at Coverstone Cemetery, Shenandoah, VA
Mary Frances Jollett and Walter Davis are buried in a family plot in the Coverstone Cemetery in Shenandoah, Virginia. For many years it was known as the Evangelical United Brethren Church Cemetery.

All of their children are there as well, except perhaps for Elsworth whose place of burial is unknown.

My grandparents Orvin and Lucille Rucker Davis

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Monday, July 18, 2016

James Franklin Jollett's Kids: Mary Frances Davis

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

Mary Frances Jollett Davis
My great-grandmother
Mary Frances Jollett Davis

Child #5 born to James Franklin Jollett and Lucy Ann Shiflett was named Mary Frances but most often went by “Mollie.” At five months of age, she made her first appearance in a federal census, having been born January 10, 1870. Like her brothers and sisters, she attended school near Swift Run and learned to read and write. She grew up surrounded by her mother’s brothers and sisters and their children. Perhaps that is how her strong love of family began and grew.

Walter Beriah Sylvester Davis
My great-grandfather
Walter Davis
With such close ties to family in Greene County, Virginia, it almost seems a surprise that Mollie met and married a boy from Rockingham County just across the mountain. Walter Beriah Sylvester Davis grew up in Beldor which is just off today’s Skyline Drive, a park that did not exist in their courting days. Mollie’s home was near Swift Run in Bacon Hollow, also just off the Drive. So while they came from two different counties, both lived near the dividing line.

Mollie was 20 and Walter 23 when they married just before Valentine’s Day, February 11, 1890. They lived for a time in Greene County, but by 1899, they had settled in the town of Shenandoah in Page County, just a few miles north of where Walter and Mollie had grown up. Shenandoah was booming with the Norfolk & Western steam railroad. As a major hub, the town boasted a large number of repair shops. However, Walter was not a railroad man; he was a carpenter like his father.

In the 1900 census, the young Davis family was living next door to two of Mollie’s sisters and their families. They all owned their homes, free and clear. Mollie and Walter had two boys, Millard and Orvin, but they had lost their first child in 1893, another boy, Elsworth who lived just over a year.

Davis and Sullivan cousins outside the Davis home Shenandoah, Virginia
Davis and Sullivan cousins outside the Davis home
corner of Williams Ave and Third St, Shenandoah, VA
Back row: Floral Sullivan, Orvin Davis,
probably Laura Jollett Sullivan, and Mary Frances Jollett Davis
Front row: Violetta Davis, Velma Davis, Elta Sullivan, Leota Sullivan
The 1910 census reported four children living at home: Millard, Orvin, Violetta, and Velma. However, another child had been born and died. Her name was Josy, and she lived a brief two years. Two years after this census, Kenneth came into their lives only to die after eleven days from neonatal jaundice.

Mollie and Walter and their four children lived a good life. Walter built many of the homes in Shenandoah, many from Sears plans, including their own new home on Sixth Street. Mollie made sure the children were dressed well and that they had “nice things” for the home. They were not wealthy, by any means; Mollie was just a good money manager. According to one family story, she used to buy the children’s clothes too big so that they could wear them longer. One day Orvin walked downtown wearing some rather large pants; as he passed a group of men sitting outside the barbershop, one of them called out, “Pants, where are you taking that boy?” Laughter could be heard up and down Front Street.

Being frugal was just part of Mollie’s makeup. She was a devout Christian and active member of the Evangelical United Brethren Church. She enjoyed singing the hymns and being part of the Gleaners, a woman’s society dedicated to missions. In the early years of the congregation, the Gleaners raised money to buy a piano for the church. Mollie was one of the signers on the note guaranteeing payment over time.
Gleaners Evangelical United Brethren Church
The Gleaners of the Evangelical United Brethren Church
In addition to building houses, Walter opened a grocery store on the corner of Sixth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. He put his sons to work there, Millard for just a while before he went to work for the railroad, and then Orvin. Orvin owned a car repair business too, so his wife Lucille took care of day to day business at the store.

The Davis store 
Thelma Hockman, Addie Hockman, Velma Davis, Mary Frances Jollett Davis
Standing: Thelma Hockman, Velma Davis
Sitting: Addie Hockman, Mollie Davis
While the sons were put to work, Walter and Mollie sent the girls to college. The girls often brought friends home for weekends and holidays. Walter and Mollie seemed to enjoy having their young friends around.

Walter Davis, Violetta Davis, Velma Davis, Thelma Hockman, Leta LaVow
Walter was a dapper dresser and
he loved the girls!
Velma Davis, Violetta Davis, Walter,
Thelma Hockman, Leta LaVow

It is easy to see why Mollie and Walter were so loved by their children and grandchildren.

Mary Frances Jollett Davis Harrisonburg, VA
Mary Frances on the porch at Violetta's

Shortly after Walter died in 1934, Mollie went to live with Violetta in Harrisonburg. Mollie died in 1950. She and Walter are buried in the Coverstone Cemetery in Shenandoah, Virginia.

Mary Frances Jollett Davis
This photo of Mary Frances
was always on a dresser
in my grandparents' home

Mary Frances JOLLETT (10 Jun 1870 Greene Co, VA – 22 Feb 1950 Harrisonburg, VA) and Walter Beriah Sylvester DAVIS (12 Sep 1867 Rockingham Co, VA – 31 Oct 1934 Shenandoah, VA) married 11 Feb 1890 Greene Co, VA
  1. Ellsworth O. DAVIS (27 Mar 1892 – 28 Sep 1893)
  2. Millard Mitchell DAVIS (19 Oct 1894 Greene Co, VA – 27 Dec 1951 Shenandoah, VA) and Edith Irene KITE (7 May 1895 Page Co, VA – 24 Feb 1985 Shenandoah, VA) married about 1914
  3. Orvin Owen DAVIS (12 Dec 1899 Shenandoah, VA – 16 Oct 1963 Portsmouth, VA) and Lucille Mary RUCKER (9 Oct 1904 Shenandoah, VA – 1 Nov 1990 Chesapeake, VA) married 17 Sep 1923 Hagerstown, MD
  4. Josy DAVIS (1 Aug 1901 Shenandoah, VA – 15 Dec 1903 Shenandoah, VA)
  5. Violetta Lorane DAVIS (Jan 1904 Shenandoah, VA – 21 Dec 1989 Harrisonburg, VA) and Virgil Franklin RYAN (20 Aug 1898 Rockingham Co, VA – 2 Jul 1941 Harrisonburg, VA) married 16 Jun 1936 Harrisonburg, VA
  6. Velma Hilda DAVIS (15 Feb 1908 Shenandoah, VA – 5 Jun 1968 Harrisonburg, VA) and Arthur Henry “Woody” WOODRING (13 Jun 1903 Pennsylvania – 21 Jan 1951 Martinsburg, WV) married 15 Jan 1927 Shenandoah, VA
  7. Kenneth Leland DAVIS (25 Jul 1912 Shenandoah, VA – 6 Aug 1912 Shenandoah, VA)

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Leanna Jollett Knight

Sunday’s Obituary is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers asking bloggers to share old obituaries and other information about an ancestor.

Obituary Leanna Jollett Knight Sep 20, 1936

Death of Mrs. Mitchell Knight

Mrs. Leanna Alice Knight, wife of Mitchel Knight died at her home near Stanardsville on Sunday, September 20th at the age of 69 years. She is survived by her husband Mitchel Knight, five sons: James of Martinsville, Va., William and Isaac of Baltimore, Md., Edward of Charlottesville, and Clyde of March, Va., and four daughters: Mrs. Bertha Shiflet, Mrs. Pearl Shiflet, and Mrs. Lona Knight. Two daughters, Victoria Shiflet and Eliza Gibson preceded her in death.
[it says FOUR daughters but lists only three; missing is Mrs. Laura Maybelle Shiflett]

She is also survived by five sisters, Mrs. W. J. Sullivan, Mrs. A. J. Coleman, Mrs. W. B. Davis, Mrs. Sallie Clift all of Shenandoah, and Mrs. Victoria Breeden of Waynesboro, Va.

She leaves 51 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Mrs. Knight connected herself with the Brethren Church a number of years ago and was a faithful member until her death.

She lived a simple unassuming life, always ready to aid those who needed her. She will be greatly missed by her neighbors and friends.

The funeral was conducted from the Evergreen Church of the Brethren by Rev. E. L. Cave.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Knight Cousins

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.

Violetta, Thelma, Ervin Knight
Knight Cousins
Violetta, Thelma, Ervin

This photo was given to me by a great-grandchild of Leanna Jollett and James Mitchell Knight, but which one I cannot remember. It is labeled “Grandchildren of Leanna Knight,” and from the names, I can guess the 3 are most likely children of William Lewis Knight. However, I have no “Ervin” in my database. Perhaps this was a middle name that has not been recorded.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: The Knights

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

Evergreen Church and entrance to the cemetery
Dyke, Greene County, Virginia
photo courtesy Jan Hensley
Leanna Jollett Knight and James Mitchell Knight are buried near one another in the Evergreen Church Cemetery in Greene County, Virginia. A pretty little stone church and a well-maintained cemetery surrounded by a low stone wall - beautiful scenery from every direction - who wouldn't want to be buried here?

Tombstone James Mitchell Knight Greene County, Virginia
James M. Knight
May 9, 1866
Feb 16, 1942
photo courtesy Jan Hensley
Tombstone Leanna Jollett Knight Greene County, Virginia
Leanna A. Knight
Born  Mar 14, 1867
Died Sep 20 1936
photo courtesy Jan Hensley

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Monday, July 11, 2016

James Franklin Jollett's Kids: Leanna Knight

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

Leanna Alice Jollett was the fourth child born to James Franklin and Lucy Ann Shiflett Jollett. That was on March 14, 1867 in Greene County, Virginia. However, there is no record of a “Leanna” in the 1870 census. Oh, the Jolletts were enumerated on time, that is a fact. But there was no Leanna. There was a three-year old daughter though, listed exactly where she should have been listed, chronologically after Laura and before Mary F. Her name was “Columbia A.”

from the 1870 Greene County, Virginia Federal Census

In the next census in 1880, Columbia was nowhere to be found. In her place was Leanna, age 13, right after Laura and before Mary F, the same age expected for Columbia had she been listed.

from the 1880 Greene County, Virginia Federal Census

There is no real explanation for the disappearance of one and appearance of the other. Maybe there were twin girls and the enumerator failed to list Leanna, and then maybe Columbia died before 1880. Or maybe the common nickname “Lum” latched onto a middle name Ann and then “Lumanna” somehow morphed into “Leanna” and it stuck. Maybe the enumerator simply mis-heard “Leanna” and wrote “Columbia.” We will probably never know.

What is true, though, is that Leanna was the name on her marriage record, death record, tombstone, and every census from 1880 to 1930.
James Mitchell Knight and Leanna Jollett Knight

At age 18, Leanna married James Mitchell Knight, a farmer and son of a farmer, whose childhood in Greene County was much like her own. Both attended school, probably the same school since they grew up as near neighbors. One of Leanna’s grandchildren once said that Leanna was not a beautiful woman but her grandfather – who was quite handsome – absolutely adored his sweet Leanna.

The Knights had eleven children, and all survived into adulthood. They owned their own farm in the Monroe District of Greene County. Supposedly for a time they ran a store, but that is not reflected in the census records, only in the memory reported by their son Clyde. Leanna was the postmistress for the Nimrod Post Office from 1919-1925.

Leanna was quite social, and her name often appeared in the society columns when she visited her aunt Clementine Morris, sister of Leanna’s mother. It didn’t matter that they lived just a few miles from one another in the same county; a visit was a visit when it came to local news. Despite their 20-years difference in age, they had much in common. Both boasted very large families, Aunt Clem’s outnumbering even Leanna’s large brood. As a result, they had children of the same age, so they surely had plenty to talk about.

Leanna died in 1936 from endocarditis and myocarditis, in other words, severe heart problems. Some time later, Mitchell went to live with their son James Frank. He died in 1942, just a short six years after his beloved Leanna. The two are buried in the Evergreen Church Cemetery in Greene County.
Jollett Reunion before 1934
at a Jollett Reunion before 1924
Standing: James Mitchell Knight, Sallie Jollett Clift, Leanna Jollett Knight,
Walter Davis, Mary Frances Jollett Davis, Decatur Breeden,
Victoria Jollett Breeden, Laura Jollett Sullivan, Will Sullivan
Seated: Jack Coleman, Emma Jollett Coleman

Leanna Alice JOLLETT (14 Mar 1867 Greene Co, VA – 20 Sep 1936 Albemarle Co, VA) and James Mitchell KNIGHT (9 May 1866 Greene Co, VA – 16 Feb 1942 Greene Co, VA) married 1 Mar 1885 Greene Co, VA
  1. Bertha Ola KNIGHT (18 Jan 1885 Greene Co, VA – 31 Jan 1963 Greene Co, VA) and Benjamin SHIFLETT (10 Jun 1891 Greene Co, VA – 24 Jan 1959 Greene Co, VA) married 24 Dec 1912 Greene Co, VA
  2. Victoria KNIGHT (4 Jul 1887 Greene Co, VA – 2 Feb 1929 Albemarle Co, VA) and Martin Lucas SHIFLETT (14 Aug 1882 Greene Co, VA – 5 Dec 1950 Ruckersville, VA) married 2 Mar 1904 Greene Co, VA
  3. Laura Maybelle KNIGHT (3 May 1890 Greene Co, VA – 20 Apr 1975 Greene Co, VA) and James Pearlie SHIFLETT (25 Jun 1889 Greene Co, VA – 2 Sep 1922 Greene Co, VA) married 17 Jan 1907 Greene Co, VA
  4. Eliza Jane KNIGHT (14 Jun 1892 Greene Co, VA – 23 Jun 1928 Albemarle Co, VA) and Charles Herbert GIBSON (17 Apr 1896 Greene Co, VA – 30 Apr 1990 Charlottesville, VA) married 27 Nov 1919 Greene Co, VA
  5. James Frank KNIGHT (3 May 1894 Greene Co, VA – 18 Apr 1986 Albemarle Co, VA) and Margaret LAWSON (16 Dec 1895 Greene Co, VA – 6 Mar 1963 Charlottesville, VA) married 9 Apr 1913 Greene Co, VA
  6. Pearl Josephine KNIGHT (25 May 1896 Greene Co, VA – 27 Dec 1988 Madison Co, VA) and William Harvey SHIFLETT (Mar 1893 Greene Co, VA – 3 Aug 1926 Greene Co, VA) married 13 Oct 1913 Hagerstown, MD
  7. William Lewis KNIGHT (20 Jun 1897 Greene Co, VA – 2 Sep 1970 Baltimore, MD) and Ethel Florence MORRIS (20 Mar 1899 Greene Co, VA – 6 Dec 1973 Baltimore, MD) married 10 Jan 1919 Greene Co, VA
  8. Edward Cole KNIGHT (6 Oct 1899 Greene Co, VA – 1 Sep 1982 Charlottesville, VA) and Eva Mae SHIFLETT (27 Apr 1906 Greene Co, VA – 25 Aug 2000 Charlottesville, VA) married 7 Sep 1927 Albemarle Co, VA
  9. Lonia “Lonnie” Catherine KNIGHT (24 Jul 1904 Greene Co, VA – 22 Sep 1988) and m1) Isaac Joshua KNIGHT (17 Sep 1899 Greene Co, VA – 29 Apr 1962 Maryland) married 25 Dec 1920 Greene Co, VA ; m2) Meade Elton JENKINS (19 Apr 1904 Winchester, VA – 21 Nov 1971 Staunton, VA) married 2 Feb 1957 Charlottesville, VA
  10. Clyde Henry KNIGHT (28 Oct 1904 Greene Co, VA – 13 Oct 1997 Charlottesville, VA) and Elsie Olyn MORRIS (13 Feb 1904 Greene Co, VA – 28 Sep 1984 Charlottesville, VA) married 3 Jun 1927 Greene Co, VA
  11. Isaac Finks KNIGHT (20 Aug 1908 Greene co, VA – 21 Dec 1994 Dundalk, MD) and Etha MORRIS (15 Oct 1908 Greene Co, VA – 20 Oct 1994 Baltimore, MD) married 4 Apr 1928 Greene co, VA

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.