Mrs. J. T. Sublett

The last time I posted, I wrote about Georgia Holt Sublett. Today, I write about her again but this time it is her obituary. I have a slip of paper that equates as her obituary. It has a jagged edge and is faded with the years. However, it tells us a story, and even more facts.

Georgia Kate Holt Sublett

Georgia Kate Holt Sublett

It reads, “Mrs. Georgie Holt Sublett, 67, wife of J.T. Sublett, died at her home at Naruna Monday night at 9 o’clock. “

I am not an expert in obituaries, but I suspect most of the current ones do not give the specific time of death. I am not sure why this one does.  Do you?

What the slip of paper cannot tell me because it has been cut away, is that Georgie died on 10 April 1950. She was only 67 years old. The obituary does not tell us the cause of death, but it does tell us that she was survived by her own mother and her husband.  I may have to send away to find out cause of death.

The obituary also gives us a look into her family, as we read that all of her daughters are married. It seems like an oversight or something as only one of the daughters is listed by name. As an amateur genealogist, I like to see the names of the siblings and their locations. This helps me in finding out more about them.

Below is a great picture of her and her mother.  My grandfather Lacy is standing there in his overalls.  I believe it is Clarice, the youngest in her arms, but I am not certain.  I do not know how old Lacy is, but he looks younger than 10, if this is true, we can safely say that this photo was taken before 1920.  I wish there wasn’t a shadow on my grandfather’s face.

Susan Holt, Georgia Sublett, Lacy and Clarice-Pete- 001

Until next time, I will keep exploring backwards.

Another Tract of Land

One of the important things about genealogy is placement of our ancestors in the time and space in which they lived. I have learned more about history than I ever thought I would.

Recently, I found another piece of property for sale that has a family Tract name. The name Holt was my great-grandmother’s maiden name. Georgia Kate Holt was born 26 Mar 1883 in Naruna, Campbell County. I wrote about her father, Guilford “Walker” Holt last July on this blog.

Holt Aerial

Google Image of the Holt Tract

Google Image of the Holt Tract

The interesting thing about find this property is to ponder all of the life’s events that occurred here. Georgia Kate was the eldest child of Sue and Walker Holt nine children. Raising nine children is rough anytime but this was after the Civil War, and the Wild West was in full swing. Jesse James and Billy the Kid are both shot and killed. The Brooklyn Bridge and the Washington Monument are both completed before the turn of the century.

Georgia and her siblings were born and raised in Campbell County. The census records indicate that they lived in the Falling River District, which is located near and around the town of Naruna. Tobacco was the major crop for Campbell County. “Brookneal served as a major tobacco market for many years” due to its proximity to the Staunton River (Campbell County Website). This was probably the crop of my ancestors.

 Georgia Holt Sublett 001

I cannot seem to find the marriage date for Georgia Kate and John Thomas, however, according to the 1910 Census, we find them living in Campbell County, and luckily, one of the census questions was how long in present marriage. They indicated 9 years. Therefore, it is safe to assume that sometime after the 1900 census, they married. There is no way to know how far away the lived from her parents. We do know that they remained in the same Enumeration District (Falling River) during the 1910 and 1920 census. Georgia’s father dies in the spring of 1929. On the 1930 Census, Georgia’s mother Sue Etta Wood Holt is now living in the home with Georgia and her husband John Thomas.

Georgia and John Thomas go on to have children of their own: Claudia, Anne, Lacy, Mae and Clarice. We have already discussed my grandfather Lacy Luke Sublett, but we will soon discuss the others.

JT Sublett and Georgia 001

Until later, help me explore backwards.  If you have anything to add, please let me know.

 

 

 

Pop-osophy

“Pop-osophy”
Pop, that is my term of endearment for my father, Lawrence Walter Whitehead. I am not sure, when I came up with that name for him, but I do know that I am the only one that calls him that, and it makes me feel special.

I have written previously that my father was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. He was coming of age in the 40′s and 50′s. His father died when he was not quite 14 years old. That has to be hard on any family. The truth is though; my grandfather was not “present” for my father as he should have been. I do not think he was there to play catch with him or guide him as other father’s did.

Whitehead Family 1948

Whitehead Family 1948

I believe that after my grandfather died in 1950, my father must have decided at some point that if he had children, he would raise them different. What we received as a result was a strict but fair loving father who was there for us. My father believes that family matters. We sat down at dinner as a family every night. We went to Church as a family. We all played sports and supported each other as a family.

Pop has key pieces of advice, colloquialisms, which he would bestow on his children as needed. Here are a few that I remember the most.

Nothing is easy
Nothing is free
You cannot make a silk purse from a sows ear.
He did not just fall off the turnip truck

(Mom, siblings, if you can remember the others, please share)

 

Saturday mornings must have been my mother’s time off from child rearing. As I recall, I spent many Saturday mornings time with my Dad and my siblings. We would make the rounds. First, we would get breakfast at Mr. Donuts. I still remember the glass window that you could see into the donut making area. It fascinated us as children. I can remember two distinct flavors. The first was the chocolate cake donut. The chocolate was so rich and it had the thinnest of glazes on top. The second was the coveted peanut donut. Who would have thought to combine donuts with peanuts. I can see it now.

After we got our fill at the donut shop, Dad would take us to the hardware store. Andy’s Hardware store was not only owned by Dad’s friend, Bob Cook, the Store also sponsored Dad’s softball team. Every time I see the rolls of chain and rope at any hardware store, I am instantly transported back to my childhood. I still love going to hardware stores. However, it is not because I am handy. I did not get that gene. It is because of the memories that can be invoked from going down that aisle.

Andy's Hardware

Andy’s Hardware

No trip was complete without going down to the local Shell station. Dad’s other friend, Jerry Gorsica, owned the Shell Station. Remember the time when the gas station was full-service and included the mechanic shop.

My father’s plan to be an involved father sometimes came at a cost. My father was transferred a few times, so we would have to pick up our lives and move them somewhere new. As a child it was difficult. As it turns out, it was hard on everybody. Later I learned that these sacrifices were made were an effort for him not to get ahead, but to rather stay in a position that would allow him the family life that he wanted. I heard later as an adult that some of my father’s jobs, stunk. If it did, he didn’t let it show to his children.

Now my Pop is a grandfather, six times over. It is heart-warming to see him in this role. He is caring, funny, and sweet in this role.

 

Dad with some grandkids

Dad with some grandkids

Happy Father’s Day!

 

 

Mom and Dad with all of the grandchildren

Mom and Dad with all of the grandchildren

 

 

Dad and I April 2014

Dad and I
April 2014

 

 

 

 

The trip that almost wasn’t…

 

I was going through pictures recently and came across a couple of photos from 1981. This brings back a very distinct memory for me. I was in my thirteenth year and my younger brother Joe was not quite 10. That summer my sister had just finished her junior year and Dave, my older brother had just finished his freshman year. Mom, Joe and I were to take a trip to see mom’s parents in Lynchburg, Virginia. The older siblings were going to stay at home. I think we got the tickets via a frequent flier program of some sort. I think it was the first airplane trip for Joe and me.

A day before we were to go on this trip, I was riding my bicycle around the neighborhood without tennis shoes. Rather I was wearing flip-flops. I am not sure how it went, but I ended up flipping over my handle bars and onto the street. A neighbor teenager went and got my mother, somehow another neighbor, a part-time nurse came out and together they made the decision that due to the amount of blood on the street that I should be taken to the emergency room. This story would just be a regular childhood story, had it not been for the doctor’s recommendation that I should not fly for 24 or 48 hours. This in turn was not okay with my mom. I remember going past her bedroom and over hearing her crying to someone on the phone, it could have been her mother, that she was not going to be able to come as planned. I am not sure if we lost our money or how the story went, hopefully my mother can fill in the blanks. I do remember feeling like such a heel. These pictures bring back that feeling. I know we went and probably had a great time. But, I am not sure at what cost. The cost to my childhood was great though, because it was a clear time in my childhood that I remember having a negative impact and causing her such pain.

As I continue to explore backwards I have to remember that there are good feel-good stories in our past as well as stories that stir up negative emotions. Both types have a valid place in our history.

 

Krista, Betty, and Joe leaving for Lynchburg

Krista, Betty, and Joe leaving for Lynchburg

At the airport

At the airport

Cousins and more cousins

 

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines Cousin “as a child of your uncle or aunt or a person who is related to you but not in a close or direct way”.

Since I started to explore backwards I have been amazed at the number and kinds of cousins I have met (via the internet). It is truly remarkable.

The first cousins I met on my journey were my mother’s cousins. I met them when I was a little girl, but after I started exploring my genealogical roots, I got to meet them and get to know them as adults. I previously wrote about them, see my July 2013 post.

Another cousin I met while exploring backwards was Mary Stevens.  She is my second cousin 1x removed.  Her father carries the Steven’s name and as such we have many familiar names in our line.  We met via Ancestry.com and have shared a lot of information with each other.  She and I have even shared our online family tree.

Recently I met Anne Moore Vaught, my first cousin 1x removed. Her mother, Martha Ann Whitehead was my grand-aunt. Anita stumbled onto my blog in search of a Facebook page about growing up in Oglethorpe. After we reconnected and exchanged emails, I found out more about her and her parents. She in turn introduced me to her daughter, my second cousin. It was through the connection with Anita and her happy accident that I went to find this Facebook page and met more cousins. I have not placed them all yet, but several of them seem to be doing similar research.

Another cousin I met recently was Father Ronald Crewe, who is my second cousin 2x removed. His mother’s maiden name was Kersten. I took a chance and contacted him blindly through his work email. I am so glad I did. Since then, I have learned much more about the Kersten’s in Wisconsin and Cicero as well as the homestead in Belgium.

Another cousin I met online was through the website, Ancestry.com. Billie Jean is my second cousin 1x removed. We share a history from the Hicks side of my family tree.

Each of these individuals have been so generous with their time and resources. I want to thank them for their friendship that has evolved. It is with their resources that I have been able to add to the family tree, this blog and eventually, a book (I hope).

So here is to cousins! They provide a whole different connection to your past.

 

 

 

 

 

A letter in German

I know I have talked about Peter Kersten before, but with all things, we learn more information as we go. Recently I attended a Rotary meeting. I was asked by a colleague of mine, and since I have wanted to become more active in my community, I accepted. While at the meeting, I was introduced to Vonn. Vonn is an eighty something year old fellow that is somewhat of a historian. More importantly (to this blog at least), he is also fluent in German and he took the time to translate a letter that I have. I am sure I got the letter from my Aunt Leah, when she lent me items to copy. But, I tried “Google translate” with minimum success, so when he offered to translate this document, I was stoked. I was excited because it was a piece of my past that I could then put into some context with what I already know about Peter and his family. I was also excited that some light could be shed on this mysterious letter.  I am going to include the letter in its entirety, but I am going to try to add information that I have to put it into context. Please if you know more information let me know.  The letter was written on stationery from the German Mutual Benefit and Aid Society.  We will talk more about this at another time.

 

Chicago, Ill., December 23, 1925

Dear Ones,

Received your letter of December 2 and are pleased to hear from you. We are sorry to hear that Uncle Wilhelm died (Willhelm Kersten, Peter’s Uncle, Mathias’ brother). I cannot believe that Uncle would die so soon. What was he ailing from that he died so quickly? In November our brother-in-law (Unknown reference) informed us of his death but did not explain what ailed him. We have not heard from Uncle Wilhelm since he collected my part of the inheritance. I have no idea why he stopped writing. You ask about your Uncle Cristian Palm (we do have a line with last name Palm, Peter’s Aunt Magdalena married a Simon, they had children and their daughter Margaretha Simon married Johann Jacob Palm, I am assuming they had a child named Christian Palm). I cannot say if he is still alive or where he lives. I asked Johann Lanz of Manderfeld who lives here in Chicago about him. He said that your uncle lived in New York in 1898 [?] but that he has not heard from him since then. He promised to look for information. The court at St. Vith sent us a copy of the will. It was mailed to the old address. Will you be so kind and give the court our new address. Share it also with the executor [of the will] Johann Nicholas Theisen, mayor of Mandersfeld and give him and his family our regards. Regarding the inheritance I believe that we should leave it as Uncle has decreed. I am sorry that he excluded Persinger’s (I think he meant Perings) children but nothing can be done about that. The aunt in Racine is doing well, as is her husband. The same goes for their children. Both ___ [illegible] Maria (Anna Marie Kertsen Crewe), lives in Racine and Eduard (Edward Peter Kersten) lives here in Chicago. I will send you their addresses. As far as we are concerned we are hale and hearty and hope to continue so. Now with the old year coming to an end we wish you all happy holidays and the best for the new year. Give our greetings and a wish for a happy new year to Aunt Magdalena and Anna.

Greetings from your cousin Peter Kersten and family.

Hubert (Johann Hubertus Kersten, Peter’s brother) plans to write you.

 

Until later, I will be exploring backwards, or as my German ancestors would have said “Ich werde nach hinten erforschen

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Whoa, take’er easy there, Pilgrim”

I always wondered why John Wayne said Pilgrim so many times. Anyhow, Recently, I have been thinking about Pilgrims.  I even wonder to myself if I can call myself a descendent of a pilgrim. I have found information that leads me to believe that I am a 9th generation Pilgrim. Let me tell you why.

I was researching the old family tree and shaking some of the ancestral leaves when I noticed that I had an ancestor that died in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This got me thinking, when he got here and how.

 

Here is a little timeline about the pilgrims just for a refresher.

  • 16 Sept 1620-Mayflower leaves England
  • 16 Dec 1620-Mayflower lands arrive in the New World
  • 16 Mar 1621-Contract between Indians and Pilgrims
  • 15 Oct 1621-First “Thanksgiving”
  • 15 Nov 1621-Second Ship “The Fortune” arrives
  • 15 Jul 1623-Two More Ships arrive

(Reference: http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/the-pilgrims–4)

 

Robert Hicks was on the second ship, so he did not make it in time for the first Thanksgiving, but he got there as quick as he could. His wife came over on The Anne, which arrived in the summer of 1623.

 

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner

(Photo source: http://ww2.valdosta.edu/~aaperez/ebooklesson1.html)

Robert was a Fellmonger in England. What the heck is a fellmonger? Essentially, he was a leather worker. He was a dealer in hides and skins. When he came to the New World, it looks like he became a farmer.

Robert was married to Margaret.  Some believe her maiden name was Winslow. Some of this information is still speculative, as I have not confirmed it all. Nevertheless, it appears that Margaret could have been his second wife. Regardless Margaret comes to America with her son Samuel and Lydia on the Anne in 1623.

So this is the way my line goes like this.

My mother’s grandmother, Carrie Lou Hicks was the daughter of Lemuel Dabney Hicks, who was the son of Blansford Hicks, who was the son of William Hix, who was the son of Samuel Hixs III, who was the son of Samuel Hicks, Jr. who was the son of Samuel Hicks, who was the son of Robert Hicks who came over on the Fortune and landed near Plymouth in 1621.

Consequently, my mother who always considered herself a daughter of the south, now realizes she has a Pilgrim heritage. I think she will be okay with it. The character of a person that decides to leave EVERYTHING they know to set off for the New World is a valiant person, and it is good to know that character and genes are in us too.

This Thanksgiving is going to be different, I can already tell. I am already thankful for so much in my life. I will pause this year to reflect with a little more familiarity about the brave people that risked everything to come to the new world almost 4oo years ago.

 

Until later, you will find me exploring backwards. By the way, my pilgrim name is Patience Jameson.