Side Notes

It has been a really long time since I have written about my ancestors (over two months).  We had a Hurricane and a flood in late August.  So, I lost a bit of time with that.  Our home is fine, we did not have any damage.  We were very blessed.  However, we know several people who did.  It makes you wonder about the weather that our ancestors had to endure.  I am not going to go down that rabbit hole at this junction.  But it does make you reflect.

I have also been listening to the book, Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.  I am not very far along, but in one of the chapters, the author talks about the French Huguenots and their link to a particular individual.  I wrote early on this blog about the French Huguenots and the very strong link we have with them.  You can read about it here:  Huguenot Blog Post

My point is this, just by living we are part of history.  For example, Hurricane Harvey will be discussed and remembered for years and years.  Much like we remember where we were when the Twin Towers fell that fateful day or when the Cubs won the world series.  We are a part of history.  So, it makes sense to wonder what our ancestors must have thought when the first Minie Ball was fired in the Civil War.  Grandchildren might wonder why everyone was fighting over a crusty old military statue, or why the United States Flag is so important to so many people. So, take a few minutes to reflect on what side of history do you want to be on when this chapter is written.

I hope to have some real family history reflections soon.

 

Until then, Go Cubs Go! Go Astros!#hustletown

 

 

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Using Census and City Directories

Mom says I have been focusing too much time on my paternal side.  She is right of course!  I guess part of the reason is because of the new Whitehead Archives that I discovered through my friendship with my cousins.  There are plenty of stories and challenges on the maternal side to conquer.  So here it goes.

When first researching an ancestor, you usually start with the US Census records. The US Census is a decennial census written into our Constitution.  This is done to align the seats of the House of Representatives.  If you recall in your history class, each state gets two state senators.  The House of Representatives however is done by census numbers.

 

In terms of genealogy, the census provides the best snapshot of your ancestor over time.  Each Census is different in that different questions are asked.  The United States Census is gearing up already for the 2020 census.  You have to wonder what type of questions they will ask.  Or at least that is what a genealogist wonders.  Long gone are the days of door to door enumerators.  The census is given by US Postal Service.  There are still census takers that go door to door in order to provide for undercounting due to illiteracy, homelessness, etc.

 

A city directory is another gold mine for a genealogist.  Because unlike the census which is done every 10 years, a directory is usually done yearly.  Lynchburg, Virginia has their directories indexed and online.  I am very lucky because a huge chunk of my ancestors lived there.  It is through these records that I can trace my ancestors’ movement over time.  One of the reasons I blog about my ancestors, it helps to see the holes in my research.  Believe me there are plenty of holes in this one.  One of the reasons for the delay is that I have been researching Emma.  There are still holes, but I believe you can begin to see her in context with the life she lived.

Emma Frances Heath is my 2nd great grandmother on my maternal side.  Emma was born 15 June 1862 to William Heath and Rhoda Elizabeth Hyman Heath.  I know little about her parents and will have to research them more in-depth.  However, I want to show you how to track your ancestors through the Census and City Directories.

 

The 1870 Census shows Emma is living with G.B Fergerson and his wife Sally Fergerson.  She is listed as a niece and 10 years old.  Also living in the home is the Fergerson’s 3-year-old son, Stephen and a Farm Hand.  If you noticed the discrepancy in the date of births you are not alone.  Her tombstone has 1862 on it.  It is likely that the census take rounded up or down.  The location is Brookville, Campbell County Virginia.  Her uncle is listed as a farmer.  Because I have not researched this side for very long, I am not sure what happened to her parents.  Her mother seems to have passed away in 1871, Emma would have been 9 years old.  So it seems obvious that Sally was likely Rhoda’s sister.  However, what is not clear is why Rhoda would have died in Dayton, Ohio.  I will have to look into that.  So much genealogy to do, so little time….

In the 1880 Census, Emma is 19 years old, wife to her 28-year-old husband who is working as a farmer.  She has 2 daughters, Annie and Rosa.  They are living next to other family (Hicks) who are also farming.  (Census: Amherst County, 15th District)

By the 1900 Census, Emma is listed as 36 years old, Lemuel is 49.  This census is great because it asks how many children born and how many still living.  She had 10 children.  They ranged in ages on this census from 2 years old to 19.  Her sister-in-law, Mary,  is also listed there.  There are no known families living beside them on this census.  (Census Amherst, 12th District, Pedler).

In the 1910 Census, Emma and Lemuel are now living in the city.  Lemuel is listed as working as a Watchman at the Foundry.  The census asks the same question about children.  This time, Emma is listed as having had 12 children but only 7 are still living.  Three of the older daughters are listed as still living at home and working at the shoe factory.  There are no known families living beside them on this census.  (Census Lynchburg, Independent City, District 87, Lynchburg Ward 3)

In the 1920 Census, Emma and Lemuel are still in the city.  Lemuel is listed as a gardener for the city.  He is listed as 68 years old.  Emma is listed as 57 years old.  Her daughter Iola and her husband Charles Worley are listed as living there.  Charles is working as a shoe maker at the factor and Iola is not working.  There are also two boarders listed (it appears they are married).   (Census Lynchburg, Independent City, District 12, Ward 3)

 

On 29 May, 1923, Emma’s husband, Lemuel dies, he was 74 years old.

 

For the 1930 Census, Emma is listed as living with her daughter Carrie (my great-grandmother) and her family in a rented home at 1715 Main Street.  Thomas, Carrie’s husband is listed as a carpenter for the housing industry.  Emma’s three granddaughters and grandson are also living there, including my grandmother!  James Hicks, her son, is living next door with his wife, Helen.  (1930 Census, Lynchburg, Independent City, Enumeration District 110-21, Ward 3)

In the 1940 Census, Emma is listed as 77 years old.  She is now living with her other daughter Willie and her family at 2014 Tulip Street.  Willie and Clyde Driskill are listed as owning the home.  Clyde works at the US Post Office as a mail carrier.  Also living in the home are their six children, Clyde Junior, Frances, Doris, Daniel, Robert and Ruth.  Also living on the street is Lessie Driskill, Clyde’s sister.  She has their parents Daniel and Emma Driskill living with her.  She is also listed as owning her own house.  She works at the shoe factory.  (1940 Census: Lynchburg City, Lynchburg, Enumeration District 111-25, Ward 3)

Emma Frances Heath Hicks dies on 4 September 1945, she was 83 years old.

 

Below is a timeline that I was able to create from the Lynchburg City Directories.  The abbreviations used did vary within the directories.  The husband’s occupation was usually mentioned.  However, after Lemuel died, Emma was listed as widow.

 

Year Location Other
1907 2113 Elm Av Lbg Fdy Co
1908 2113 Elm Av Lbg Fdy Co
1909 2113 Elm Av Watchman
1910 2113 Elm Av Lbg Fdy Co
1913 2113 Elm Av farmer
1914 2113 Elm Av watchman
1915 2113 Elm Av watchman
1916 2113 Elm Av farmer
1917 2113 Elm Av No occupation listed
1920 2113 Elm Av watchman
1921 2106 Main farmer
1923 2106 Main No occupations any
1924 2106 Main widow
1925 Not found No Data
1926 1721 Liberty widow
1927 1715 Main widow
1928 1715 Main widow
1929 1715 Main widow
1930 1715 Main widow
1931 406 Walnut widow
1932 2014 Walnut widow
1933 2014 Tulip widow
1934 2014 Tulip widow
1935 2014 Tulip widow
1936 2014 Tulip widow
1937 2014 Tulip widow
1938 2014 Tulip widow
1939 2014 Tulip widow
1940 2014 Tulip widow
1941-1944 Missing    
1945 411 Westover Blvd widow

So, if you wandered onto this page for a genealogy hint, it would be to use your US Census and City Directory data to start your ancestor development.

 

Until later, I will be exploring backwards.

 

Surveys and Deeds, Oh My!

 

As we know the history of America has many blemishes; whether it was the treatment of Native Americans, Japanese Americans, or slavery, they tend to haunt us from time to time in your genealogical research.  However, my father always told me that if you “own” the mistake and not justify it, you can learn from them.  So, it is in that spirit that I approach some of the dreadful things I encounter as I explore backwards.

You cannot think about the land in Georgia without realizing these lands came to be inhabited by Anglos due to the removal of the Cherokee Indians.  According to the Georgia Encyclopedia,

“In 1838 and 1839 U.S. troops, prompted by the state of Georgia expelled the Cherokee Indians….The removal of the Cherokees was a product of the demand for arable land during the rampant growth of cotton agriculture in the southeast (Garrison, 2017).”

What happened as a result was a number of land lotteries.  Between 1805 and 1833, Georgia directed eight land lotteries.  The reason this is important to my family is that my 2nd great-grandfather, George Wiley Whitehead, was the county surveyor for Oglethorpe County for several years (between 15-20 years).  It is likely he stepped down as surveyor and became county commissioner in 1885.

GWW 1866 County Surveyor

GWW 1885 County Commissioner

In the archives found at the Carlton Home are dozens of deeds and plats.  Some of them represent his purchases of land.  While others seem to be plats that he drew in his occupation.  Others predate his life and are family records for property we owned at one point in time.  I wish there was an easy way to align the dimensions of the plats with GPS coordinates.  However, since the plat was first drawn the rocks, the persimmon tree and other boundary items have been forever altered.  In this post, I have included a couple of examples and how we can use them to further our genealogical research.

 

Example 1 (plat of Charles O’Kelly land)

The first example of some of the documents uncovered is this plat of the Charles O’Kelly Land.  You can see that some of the boundaries listed are a dogwood tree, sweet gum and chestnut tree.  I doubt that this property could be relocated today.  However, since Charles O’Kelly was my 4th Great-grandfather, and I happen to know where he was buried, we might be able to infer the relative location of his land.  Charles O’Kelley was born about 1756 and died about 1810.

charles okelly plat

Example 2: (1785 Land Grant)

The oldest document that we uncovered is from 1785.  That is 232 years ago!  I am going to let that sink in for a minute….

This document is a Land Grant Warrant from Wilkes County for John McLeroy a tract of 400 acres.  Apparently the land grant did not go into effect until 1792.

The language on the deed gives it such special meaning.

“Given under my Hand, and the Great Seal of the said State, this ninth Day of April in the Year of our LORD One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety two, (unreadable) Sixteenth Year of American Independence.”  How cool is that?  This document was discovered in what I am calling the Whitehead Archives (AKA the Blue Rubbermaid Tub).

When I was in Georgia last, my cousin Charlie and I were going through this box while the others on our expedition were resting up.  I have to admit that Charlie and I got pretty excited about this document.  We made some assumptions that have not been proven.  I am not sure if we will ever be able to determine the relevance to the Whitehead lineage.  We have our ideas.  Is this the location of the original homeplace for the Whitehead’s?  Why was this document in this box?  In my family tree, I have a male ancestor, Anderson McElroy who married Nancy Whitehead in 1826.  I think the names Mcleroy and McElroy could easily been get mixed up.  So many questions.

 

Example 3: (1843 Deed Mary O’Kelly to Polly Crowder Whitehead)

I selected this document because it is more legible than some of the others but it also gives us lots of names.  This document was a Deed of Gift.  In it reads that Mary O’Kelly, the mother of Mary “Polly” Whitehead is giving to her and her children [Martha A Suddeth formerly Martha A. Whitehead wife of Seaborn M. Suddeth, Dilley Whitehead, Susan Whitehead, Samuel Whitehead, Sarah F. Whitehead, William F. Whitehead, George W. Whitehead, Mary L. Whitehead, Elijah D. Whitehead, James D Whitehead, Elizabeth E. Whitehead, Charles E Whitehead] the following property: One hundred acres of land, a slave named Sydda, 3 feather beds and all of her household stuff.  In addition she gifts, 8 heads of cattle with their future increase and upon her death to be equally divided amongst her children.

However, where it gets interesting it says “To remain in the possession of the said, Polly C Whitehead and be under her sole and separate control and is in no event to be subject in any manner to the contracts, debts and liabilities of her husband Joel Whitehead.  Now I haven’t explored this part of the tree as much but I do know that Mary O’Kelly’s husband (Charles O’Kelly) died in 1810.  Additionally, I know that Polly had siblings.  So, I wonder if other property was given to them.  I do know that historically married women were not entitled to own and manage property until later unless their spouse of incapacitated.  I will have to do more research on the specifics, but a cursory internet search stated that Connecticut was the first state in 1809 and it wasn’t until 1866 that Georgia women were legal allowed to own property.   Regardless, this document is over 170 years old.

1843 Deed Mary Okelly to Polly C Whitehead

 

Well, there are more deeds to explore.  Until later, I will be exploring backwards.

 

Source:

Garrison, Tim A. “Cherokee Removal.” New Georgia Encyclopedia. 06 June 2017. Web. 08 June 2017.

A new way of living

Maya Angelou said,

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.  In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

Margaret Agnes Kersten Whitehead or Marge as she was known had to be a very strong woman.  Her husband of 24 years died in 1950.  She still had two children in the home, Annette (age 15) and Larry (age 13) and one daughter who had already taken vows in service with the Catholic Church.  She did have the support of her parents.  However, they were aging.  Her mother died in 1959, then her father the very next year.  So, in the span of 10 years she lost some very important people in her life.

Meanwhile during those 10 years and until her death in 1967, she stood strong.  We are now able to see this through some letters she sent to Chloe Whitehead, her sister-in-law.  These letters are priceless because I am now able to learn a glimpse of her and my father and aunts.

One document that is more a sign of the times is document from the Probate Court of Cook County in regards to the two minors, Annette and Lawrence.  Margaret had to go to court after her husband’s death and be appointed their guardian.  According to my Aunt Viv, “she really had to take hold of life…get a job…and carry on.”  Since we do not have any census records for the time period after my grandfather died, these letters help us know more about both her domicile and her occupation.

Margaret_K_Whitehead_1951-Guardianship

 

You can read my earlier post here:  https://exploringbackwards.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/chicago-born-and-raised/

I wish I could include every letter because there are so many gems of affection and information, but I wanted to summarize.

1951 Letter-Address is listed as 7939 Champlain Ave.  This is the location where her parents lived in what is called a “two flat.”  It is a Chicagoan term for a two unit apartment building.  My grandfather owned this two-flat.  It appears that Marge and the kids moved into the upstairs apartment after Fred died.  In the letter, Marge tells Chloe that Viv is back at Joliet and teaching.  Larry is playing baseball at St. Rita’s high school.

Maybe my Dad and Aunt can chime in about the move…

1955 Letter-Address is listed as 7939 Champlain Avenue.  She uses work stationary so we can verify that she is working for the Chicago North Shore System.  She tells Chloe that she went on a tour of Yellowstone Park and the Grand Tetons.  She doesn’t indicate who went with her.  She also updates Chloe that Annette got her stripe for her cap (nursing lingo).  Additionally, Larry has not been on a furlough yet.  Larry enlisted in the Marine Corps after graduation in 1955.  She also includes a post script note to her brother in law Joe about the Chicago White Sox doing well that season.

1957 Letter-This letter is hand written and does not specify a home address.  Marge writes that they had a nice Christmas at Annette and Don’s house.  Annette’s husband picked them up (presumably Margaret and her parents).  She writes that her mother has arthritis in her neck.  Larry was in NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) School and came in first out of 37 others.  Larry is also a corporal.  Way to go Dad!

1958 Letter-A typed written letter using the work stationary but does not specify a home address.  She writes to Chloe that her daughter Annette is going to have a baby.  It appears there were some problems with the pregnancy.  She also remarks “we are just about through buying on our house.”  It appears to me that since she talks about a lawn, she is referring to the house at 8638 S. Sangamon Street.  She updates Chloe on Larry’s progress at school (Southern Illinois University) and that he will work for Ford over the summer.

8638 s sangamon-last home

Margaret Whitehead’s Home

1960 Letter- typed without an envelope.  Marge advised that her father passed away on September 4th.  He had trouble with his liver, etc.  Marge was concerned for he was not answering from the bathroom.  She had her son Larry (age 24), go check on him and he had died.  She writes, “Now, for the third time in ten years I’m starting a new life – or I should say a new way of living.”  She closes the letter by stating that Annette and her husband want her to come live with them.  She writes, “But this is one thing I have always said I wouldn’t do.”

1963-Letter, typed. There is different letter head, “Norfolk Southern Railway Company.”    She wrote to say how pleased she was that they were able to attend Larry and Betty’s wedding.  She writes, “They (meaning Lacy and Odelle Sublett) are so nice and I am glad that Larry had the good sense to pick such a lovely girl.”

1964-Letter typed letter, same letter head.  In this letter, she discusses that Betty and Larry have a little girl.  Marge is happy that Betty has taken over the correspondence.  She wrote, “she is so good about writing and Larry is the world’s worst.”   Marge tells Chloe that she has had ups and downs in terms of her health.  But she keeps working every day.  She is 58 years old in this letter.  She closes with “Yesterday was Fred’s birthday.  It’s funny how you still miss them after so much time has gone by.  Time dulls the pain, but you just never forget.”

1965 Letter, typed.  It is written on the same letter head as previous.  She writes to tell Chloe about the birth of Michelle.  She wrote, “If Annette can keep Susan away from her long enough, I think she will live.  Susan is so rough, from playing with Jeff, that we are afraid she will hurt her.”  She also wrote that Betty and Larry went to Lynchburg for Christmas.  “Kathy was queen and took over the place.”  These two quotes are some of my favorites.

1966 Letter, typed.  Letter is not on work stationary.  It is dated April 14, 1966.  Marge asks how Chloe is adjusting (Walter Joe Whitehead died 17 May 1965).  She writes, “I hope you are becoming adjusted to your new way of life a little….It certainly takes time that is all I can say.  By this time, Marge’s husband Fred had been deceased for 16 years.  The letter goes on to describe the visit that my parents took to see her for Easter with Kathy and David.  She writes, “The baby is adorable – in fact he is too pretty to be a boy.  His hair is sort of reddish and has tendency to curl….he definitely has the Whitehead mouth.”  She writes that Vivian (Sister Michelyn) is back in Joliet teaching.  “She is always flitting around and I get to see her quite a bit.  I never know when she is going to pop in on me at the office to be taken out to lunch…She sure has a lot of pep.  I could use some of it.”

1966 Letter, typed.  Letter is on Norfolk Southern stationary.  It is dated July 14, 1966.  She writes that she is still in her home on Sangamon.  She writes, “The neighborhood is turning, our street hasn’t gone too fast.”  She is worried about the market and loans.  She remarks that Betty and Jim are coming to Chicago.  Later in the letter she discussed the hot humid weather has almost “knocked me out.”  She writes “I never appreciated my good health when I had it, but I’m thankful that I can still get around.”

Marge then makes a reflective comment, “As you have probably found out by this time you have to make a new life for yourself and it is hard trying to do it without your ‘partner.’ Nobody seems able to take their place.  I know you can do it though as you are like I am, you KNOW you have to keep going and you do it.”  It was sweet of her to give her sister-in-law these words of encouragement.

1967 Letter, typed.  Letter is on Norfolk Southern stationary but also has her address in Sangamon.  The outside of the letter Chloe has written “Marge’s last letter to me.”  Inside Marge writes that she is slowing down.  “What’s happening I think is that I’m getting old and slowing up…It takes me longer to do things now-a-days, especially with arthritis in my hands and feet.  The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”  She updates Chloe that her mom’s sister (Gretchen Margaretta Stalhaber Dienfenbach) had come to visit with her daughter from California.  Marge discusses that her Aunt is going blind and her memory has slipped.  “She is so cute because she knows that her memory is failing and she tries so hard to remember who you are.”  A side note, this Aunt went on to live until she was 100 years old! Marge updates Chloe that Larry and family were in again for Easter.  She remarks that Annette and family are fine.  She writes, “Susan was quite a fink for a while but she has snapped out of it and is just darling.”  Now I know where my father got that word, fink.

Well, you might be asking why I wrote this post.  I believe through reading these letters I have been able to see my grandmother come to life.  What a strong woman she was.  I have only known her on paper, as she passed away 16 months before I was born.  The obstacles she faced in life were no match for her.  Her letters show how articulate she was.  Although the 1940 Census states she only finished 2 years of high school, Viv stated that she went to a school for business, learning typing and shorthand.

She became stronger through her battles and I wanted to share that with you.  She was an independent resilient woman and I am glad that I have some of that DNA.

Margaret Whitehead

Until later, I will be exploring backwards.

Fertilizer of all things.

He that maketh two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to

grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before deserves

better of mankind and does more essential service to his country

than the whole race of politicians put together.” Dean Swift

 

Researching your family history leads you down many interesting rabbit holes.  I recently found a few receipts for fertilizer.  I guess there were a couple of reasons why it got my attention.

First, the dates of the receipts are 8 July 1890 and 25 July 1890 how do we still have this little paper.  Second, it is signed by my great-great grandfather, George Wiley Whitehead.  Lastly, the name of the fertilizer was Davy Crockett.  How fun is that!

gww 7-25-1890 fertilzer

gww 8-7-1890 fertilizer

So, I did a little digging.  While I did not find the publication for 1890, I did find a publication for Commercial Fertilizers and Chemicals for Season 1909-1910 for the State of Georgia.  Essentially, there were laws “to regulate the registration, sale, inspection and analysis of commercial fertilizer (Georgia,1910, p3).”

So, as I hopped down the trail, I learned that my great-grandfather purchased his Davy Crockett Fertilizer from Smithonia Oil Mills, Smithsonia, Georgia.   James Smith was one of the largest land owners in Oglethorpe County.  He had over 20,000 acres.  The locals all know about Smithonia.

George Wiley Whitehead bought several acres of land after he returned from the war.  According to the Georgia Property Tax Digest from 1878-1882 George’s acreage varied from as little as 163 to 1254 acres (Georgia, Property Tax, 2011).  Unfortunately the document does not make it easy to determine what year each record is from.


Fast Forward to 1946, when George’s son Walter received the Selective Service Medal, Hubert Tiller, a local farmer, friend and customer added his own byline to the picture that was in the newspaper.  He said, “Mr. Whitehead is asking President Truman, ‘Have you bought your fertilizer for this year, Mr. President?’”

 

Walter Whitehead and Truman

WEW Receives Award quip about fertilizer

See, Fertilizer of all things.

Source:

Ancestry.com. Georgia, Property Tax Digests, 1793-1892 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

State of Georgia, Commercial Fertilizers and Chemicals, 1910, p3

The Spectrum of Emotion

I have been full of emotions since coming back from Georgia.  As I am putting together the life and times of my ancestors, I have found a series of events that are heart wrenching.

One of the many treasures that I have gathered was some of his personal papers from his life.  It seems that there was this large blue plastic tub that was wrapped up that held some records that Sara’s mother or grandmother thought was important.  It has turned into a treasure trove.  It is in this collection that the story emerged.  I have pieced together a time line for you.

As discussed previously, my great-grandfather was a very patriotic man.  He found ways to serve his country even when his age and physical limitations prohibited it.  Here is a snippet that he wrote for the Selective Service Medal Ceremony in 1946 when he was 77 years old.

WEW Biography by WEW

On 21 January 1946, my great-grandfather, Walter Everett Whitehead appeared in the East Room of the White House to receive the Selective Service Medal from President Harry Truman.   What an incredible honor for a Patriot such as Walter, or Papa.  He took his middle son, Walter “Joe” as his guest.  The event commemorated draft board members that served their country in faithful service during the “emergency” (WWII).

WEW_1946_with_President_Truman

WEW news clip about medal

One day later on 22 January 1946, at 12:46 PM a telegram from Bay Pines Veterans Hospital was sent to the Stevens Martin Company in care of Joe (he was the executor of George Steven’s Estate), stating that his condition is considered critical.  Joe and his father Walter were still in Washington DC.   Later that same day, a telegram was sent from the Stevens Martin Company to Joe or Walter in Washington DC stating the same.  George died two days later.

We can only speculate what thoughts were going through Walter and Joe’s minds as they boarded the train back to Georgia with these heavy thoughts.  He had suffered complications due to surgery he had.  You can read more about him here:

https://exploringbackwards.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/george-stevens-whitehead-part-2/

On 27 January 1946, George Stevens Whitehead, WWI veteran was laid to rest in the family cemetery.  He was only 49 years old.

The very next day, Walter stood in honor at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium being honored with the Selective Service Medal and Certificate of Merit at the State Ceremony.

WEW 1946-letter

One can only imagine what emotions the family would be feeling.  On one hand, being so proud of the well-deserved recognition for a true Patriot and on the other hand, mourning the loss of a Rhodes Scholar Brilliant man cut short in his life.  What a week that must have been.

Until later, I will be exploring backwards.

Exploring Georgia Roots II

What a wonderful trip back to Georgia, Cousin Sarah and Charlie were the most gracious of guides.  My Cousin Susan picked me up from the Atlanta airport to conduct round two of Exploring Georgia Roots.  She was my faithful companion and photographer.  It is amazing how we can just pick up and not miss a beat.  We made our way to Lexington to the old court house.  My great-great grandfather, George Wiley Whitehead, was the surveyor of the county when this historic building was built.  The clerks office was a bit of a bust.  The County Clerk’s Office wanted fifty cents per copy.  I had brought my scanner, but they said I would still have to pay.  We counted over 38 pages in one deed book alone and their copy machine would not handle the size so we abandoned the project as futile.  We would go broke first.  We were blessed with Deeds later in the trip.  I will discuss that another time.  Stay Tuned!
Oglethorpe Court House 1

Cousin Sara and David have moved into the Carlton home full time.  David cleaned out the front office and now uses it as his office.  While touring the front office that Coco and Betty both employed for many years, I noticed a painting of the Carlton Place that was done in the style of my father.  Upon closer inspection, I found my father’s mark (LWW) and knew for certain that his painting had found it’s place on this office wall for at least the last 20 years.  It is a beautiful representation of the  home in Carlton.  David offered it to me immediately knowing how special it would be for me to own this painting.  Sarah of course quickly agreed.  There might have even a little tear in my eyes knowing that this beautiful painting had adorn the walls of his grandfather ‘s home for many years.  Now this beautiful painting is hanging in my home.

 

LWW Painting Carlton

 

While sifting through an old box, I came across a letter from my father to his Uncle Joe (Walter Joe Whitehead) and his wife Chloe.  It was a letter/wedding invitation dated 4 April 1963.  Here is my favorite line:

“I am going to be married on the 20th of April to one of your southern girls.”  Of course he was talking about my mother.  I know they did not have a large wedding; so it was nice that his Uncle Joe was able to attend.

Another treasure found was a letter from my Dad’s mother to Chloe and Joe, indicating how happy it was that Joe was able to attend (the wedding).  Margaret’s letter indicates that it was probably her and my Aunt Annette’s first airplane ride.  She wrote, “We had a much more smoother trip back…We found out that if you sit over the wings you do not notice the motion too much.”

All in all, it was a great trip and I will have much more to write about as I explore backwards.