Martha’s Place

Martha Ann Whitehead Moore

During our Genealogical Visit to Georgia in May 2015, Cousin Sara and Charlie took us to go see Martha’s Place.  It is no longer owned by the family, but it was such a stately old home.  We enjoyed our visit there, imagining it in its peak.  I imagined the beautiful wrap around porch with a few rocking chairs, a hanging swing.  I could definitely drink some ice tea out there.

Martha was the fourth and last child born to Walter Everett Whitehead and Luna May Stevens.  Born on September 14, 1904 in Madison County.  According to the family history book compiled by Chloe Whitehead, May was bedridden after Martha’s birth.  May had terrible rheumatoid arthritis.  As a result, she went to live with her maiden aunts, Pellie and Cynnie Stevens and her grandfather, Gus (Whitehead: 1983).

I wonder how hard that must have been to have your mother alive, but you have to stay with your Aunts and Grandfather.  Also, how hard it is to be parents and to know that you cannot physically meet the demands of your child.  Nevertheless, it built a very strong bond in the Whitehead and Stevens families that existed for many years to come.  According to her daughter Anne, “She loved growing up with the two aunts and had many happy memories.”

Martha was educated at Shorter College, Rome Georgia.  In 1924, she became a teacher.  She taught in Oglethorpe County for almost two decades.   She also was chosen the Star Teacher of Oglethorpe County for 10 of 11 successive years (Stevens, 1973).  Her daughter, Anne, recently told me.

“Mama graduated from Shorter College in Rome Georgia in 1924.  She was 20.   She taught in Jefferson, GA, Marion, VA, Elberton, GA and Oglethorpe County GA (that last one was 1954-1969; I was there!)  During WW2 she was in Miami working for the government.”

She married William Austin Moore on 26 December 1946 and her first and only daughter Anne the next year.  Her husband was a Major League Baseball player having pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers and a couple of other organizations.

I think it is her genes that finally started allowing our Whitehead’s to grow older.  She outlived all her siblings.  She passed away September 21, 2001 at the age of 97.

 

Martha was also a story-teller.  I am so glad to be in possession of an electronic version of “Family Stories.”  Martha wrote down stories that had been told to her.  She saved them so that her grandchildren, Julie and Karen could understand the family history.  I will continue to share those, and they are a treasure in and of themselves.

Below are some pictures we took during our tour.

Martha Whitehead Moore Home

Martha Whitehead Moore Home

long side of porch

long side of porch

side of home

side of home

Charlie giving us the history of the home

Charlie giving us the history of the home

Source:

Whitehead, Emma Chloe Adams, The Adams Family, James Adams Line (1785-1982), 1983.

Stevens, Claude, The Stevens Family, John Stevens Line, 1973.

Vaught, Anne, Email correspondance, May 1, 2016.

 

 

Georgia Kate

Sentimental Sunday

Apparently I have the matriarchs on my mind right now.  I know historically the men have been the bread winners.  For the most part, family the women kept the home and the family together.  It was no different for Georgia.  I do love her name, Georgia Kate.

Back in 2014, I wrote about my great-grandmother Georgia Kate Holt Sublette.  We discussed her obituary that I had found.  Since then, I have found her death certificate.

Death records can be very enlightening as they tell us the cause of death as determined by a physician or a judge.  It also gives information on additional family members that we might have not any prior.

Death Certificate

Death Certificate

Georgia died on June 3, 1950, of a heart condition, myocardosis.  The death certificate indicates it was sudden.  The informant for the family information is listed as Mrs. Harry Foster, we know her better as Claudia Sublette, Georgia’s eldest child.  Georgia was 63 years old.  The death certificate also states Circulatory failure and myocardial degeneration as antecedent causes.

Georgia Sublette

Georgia Sublette

In the 1910 census, we see Georgia is living with her husband and three children, Claudia, Annie, and Lacy.  It also shows that her husband, John Thomas was a farmer.

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

In the 1920 Census, we see that Georgia and her husband are living with their four children (Mary E, age 2; we know her as Mae) and John Thomas’s father resided with them.

In the 1930 Census, it shows the John Thomas and Georgia own the property in which they lived.  Mae and Clarice are still in the home.  Georgia’s mother, Sue Etta Wood Holt, has come to live with them.  Additionally, a boarder is also residing there, Ralph Dudley.  He is probably there to help work the land.

By following the census, 1940, in addition to Georgia’s mother, there is a nephew living in the home.   Fred Sublett, 34 years old, he is the nephew of John Thomas.  He is living in the home as a Farm Laborer.  We can presume that Fred was working the land as John Thomas was a Maintenance Patrolman for the State Highway system.  We also learn that the value of the home is $1500.  I wonder why Lacy  didn’t stay home to work the land.

Georgia Kate circa 1940's

Georgia Kate circa 1940’s

Georgia was born to Gilbert Walker Holt and Sue Etta Wood on 26 March 1883 in Naruna, Virginia.  She was the oldest of nine children.  In the 1910 census, Georgia and John Thomas Sublette are listed as married.  It seems like the approximation of their wedding date is 1901.

JT and Georgia in front of Homestead

JT and Georgia in front of Homestead

4-JT Sublett and Georgia 001

I do not have much more information than this.  So until later, I will be exploring backwards.

 

Chicago born and raised

Margaret Agnes Kersten was the grandmother that I never met. My Aunts and father both stated she was a religious woman. She is one of my ancestors that I wished I could have met.

Margaret was born to Peter and Anna Stalhaber Kersten in Chicago on March 13, 1906. She was the second child born to Peter and Anna. She was baptized at St. Anthony of Padua on 15 April 1906 (Source: Delayed Birth Certificate). Margaret and her older brother William were first-generation German Americans. Just for a frame of reference, in 1906, Theodore Roosevelt was the President of the United States.

In the 1910 Census, the family is living at 2804 Calumet Avenue. Also living there are three boarders. Her father Peter is a brewer.

Kersten Home-1910 Census

Kersten Home-1910 Census (source: Alookatcook.com)

When she was 8 years old, World War I started. I wonder what it was like for such a young girl when I am sure her parents were worried about loved ones that were still in Germany.

When she was 14 years old, Women got the right to vote with the passing of the 19th amendment. I wonder if she ever voted?

In 1920 Census, the family is living at 2411 South Park Avenue with her parents, her Uncle Johann Kersten, her cousin Harry Stalhaber and three lodgers. She is 13 years old. Margaret and her brother are listed as attending school. I wonder what she thought about having three lodgers in her home. I know at 13 years old, young girls and boys are wanting their privacy. I am sure there was not much of that in the household of 8.

Kersten Home-1930 Census

Kersten Home-1930 Census(source: Alookatcook.com)

 

I have a letter from Fred to his father, Papa dated 7/27/26.  He is living and presumably working at the Palmer House in Chicago.  He writes,

Marge is all enthused with expectancy and I hope not in vain.  I know I will do my utmost to make her as happy as my means and brains will allow.  She is sure one sweet girl and deserves a whole lot more than she is getting but if I can make her happy, I sure will as she wants.

On September 18, 1926, Fred and Margaret were married at Saint Dorothy’s Church in Chicago, Illinois. The witnesses listed were Joseph Donnelly and Helen Diefenbach. I believe Helen was Margaret’s first cousin. The story about how my grandparents met is a little vague. I think it was Aunt Lee that told me she heard that Margaret and her friend were walking down the street when Fred and his friend walked by. Apparently, Fred starts chatting her up. The rest is history…

In the 1930 Census, Fred and Margaret are raising their first-born, Vivian, at 509 79th Street, Chicago. Fred is listed as unemployed and Margaret is listed as working as a stenographer in the Chemical Industry. The rent is $50 per month and they have a radio. It is interesting that Fred is not listed as a veteran. In some records, the census taker makes a notation as to who they spoke to at the residence. This record does not list that. I wonder if Margaret’s mother is caring for the young Vivian, or is Fred taking care of her. Recall, this is 1930 and the depression is in full swing.

Whitehead Home-1930 Census

Whitehead Home-1930 Census (source: google maps)

By the 1940 Census, the last one that has been made public, Fred and Margaret are living at 618 East 77th Street. Fred is indicated as the respondent in this census. He is now working as an Accountant doing tax appraisals. Margaret is listed as not working outside the home. But, how could she, she had Larry, age 3, Annette, age 7, and Vivian, age 12. The question about education level shows that Fred, completed the second year of high school and Margaret, completed the 7th grade. So, why did Margaret stop going to school? Is this accurate?

Whitehead Home-1940 Census

Whitehead Home-1940 Census (source: Google Maps)

I have a 1950 Tax Return. This was the tax return for the year her husband, Fred, died (4/3/50). It listed her occupation as a Stenographer. The family is listed as living at 7939 Champlain Avenue with her parents. It shows that Fred last wages were for James R. Casey on Clark Street. If I recall, I think this was an accounting office. Margaret’s listed occupations in 1950 were at Maywood Park Trotting Association and Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railway Company.

Kersten Home

Kersten Home (Source: Google Maps)

At some point she moves to 8638 South Sangamon Street, as that is the residence listed on her death certificate.  Margaret died 27 August 1967.  She was 61 years old.

Margaret Whitehead's Home

Margaret Whitehead’s Home (Source: Google Maps)

I would like for my Aunts and Father to chip in and send me some more memories of their mother. I have written far more than I had planned.  Hopefully we  all learned about a wonderful woman, Margaret Agnes Kersten Whitehead.

Below are some more pictures that I wanted to include.

Whitehead Family

Whitehead Family

Fred and Margaret

Fred and Margaret

Fred and Margaret

Fred and Margaret

Margaret, Larry, Vivian, Kathy

Margaret, Larry, Vivian, Kathy

 

Happy Easter!  Join me again later as we explore backwards!

 

 

Semper Fidelis

Since discovering my passion for genealogy, I have had to enlist the help of my Aunts, Second Cousins, siblings and even my parents. I even met relatives along the way. This Christmas while visiting my sister, my dad brought me a copy of his military records that I had encouraged him to send off for. It was a long arduous process with the National Archives, but in the end, he was successful. I have also sent off requests for my Dad’s father, Fred Whitehead and his grandfather Walter Everett Whitehead. I have not had success as of yet. But who knows, time will tell.

Military Records Photo

Military Records Photo

My dad signed his enlistment papers on June 25, 1954, with the oath to pledge 3 years in service of his country, he was 17 years old.  As I have discussed before, my father grew up on the South Side of Chicago in the early 1950’s.  As such, he was a city kid.  He took public transportation to and from school.  Probably only saw farm animals during any summer visits to Georgia.  He learned to drive in the military. His father, Fred, had passed away in 1950 when Larry was only thirteen years old. He became the man of the house at such an early age.  He had a part-time job, albeit it was delivering beer and liquor in the neighborhood.  His eldest sister was already out of the house.  I am not sure about Annette, she went to Nursing School.

My father grew up listening to the stories of the WWII Marine veterans in his neighborhood. I do not think there was ever a doubt that he would enlist in the Marines. In the papers he had to sign, he had to essentially denounce a multitude of organizations that the United States Government thought were Fascist, Communistic and other groups subversive in nature.

Marine buddies

Marine buddies

According to his records, he always earned high marks. He entered service as a Private, then made Private First Class, Corporal and then Sergeant. He completed his Non-Commissioned Officer School with the highest marks, he was listed as first out of 35 candidates. Way to go, Dad!

Dad has told me of the story whereby he became a VFW (Veteran of Foreign War). A truce was signed on the 27th day of July 1953. However, there were still some details that needed to be worked out. The US Government decided to send some troops in the direction of the war in hopes that it would speed things up. So, my Dad and his unit boarded the AKA 112 Tulari on 29 October 1956. The USS Tulari was a Class Attack Cargo Ship. Apparently, negotiations improved as he returned five days later.

He mustered out of the Marines on 24 June 1957 as a Sergeant. My father has always said that the military was the best thing for him as it instilled in him the discipline he did not have. Once he was released from the military, he went to college on the GI Bill. And the rest they say is history.

We did the DNA now what…

I asked my father if I could take his DNA earlier this year. I got the results back. Unfortunately, my limited knowledge of what it all signifies means that I am not as prepared to decipher the results as I thought.

What I can tell you that there are three other DNA samples with FamilyTreeDNA that are the most like my fathers. We share the same Haplogroup (R-M269 aka R1b1b2). A haplogroup is a genetic population of people. It is like a clan (Vikings, etc). This Haplogroup is the dominant lineage in all of Western Europe. It is said that R-M269, is the most common European Y-chromosomal lineage. If you look at the map below, it shows where our Haplogroup (clade) was in 2010. (Source: Hammer M269 Diversity in Europe)

R-M269 in 2010

R-M269 in 2010

Some people have asked why the test results cannot give a percentage of different ancestral groups. The reason is that my father got his DNA from his father, who got it from his father. So, in my case, Dad got his from Fred Whitehead, who got his from Walter Whitehead, who got his from George Whitehead, who got his from Joel, to Samuel, to Samuel, to UNKNOWN. I have only confirmed my father’s paternal side back to my 5th great-grandfather. So I still have some research to do.

 

The map below shows which regions where my Haplogroup appears. Notice the red arrows. Please don’t ask me what all the pie charts mean, I am still working on that.

Haplogroup M269

Haplogroup M269

Source: Family Tree DNA

If you think of these haplogroups as branches on a tree, we can state that R-M269 is the dominant branch on the Western European Tree. It also seems that this clade (a grouping of organisms (i.e. humans) traced to a common ancestor) is also the largest, so the test that I did, was not sufficient to narrow down a subclade, I had my father take the 37 marker test. It now looks like the  111 marker test will be necessary. I will save my money!

My father’s Haplogroup R1b, can trace their roots back to the Saxons, Vikings and Celts.

 

This lineage is the most common haplogroup in European populations. It is found in about 90% of Basques, 80% of Irish and Welsh, 70% of Scots, 60% of English, 50% of French, 50% of Germans, but only 25% of Norwegians and 1% of Syrians. It is believed to represent the main pre-Ice Age population of western Europe, which expanded throughout Europe as humans re-colonized after the last Ice Age 10-12,000 years ago (Hauridna, 2016).

 

So, what has this really taught us? First, don’t always believe the hype. Yes, it is true that I believe this DNA test will be fruitful in the long run, in the short one; it did not produce a smoking gun. Second, I am a member of a DNA Whitehead Family Group with 81 members and growing. My goal in 2016 is to start working on these angles to see if I can break down my brick wall. Third, although it didn’t give me the result I wanted, I got to spend a wonderful 30 minutes on the couch with my father discussing it. To me, that is priceless!

Larry and Krista 1971

Larry and Krista 1971

Larry and Krista 2014

Larry and Krista 2014

Until later, I will be exploring backwards.

 

 

Sources:

Family Tree DNA

Hammer, Michael, University of Arizona, Family Tree DNA, 9th Annual Conference

Hauridna, Hauri yDNA Project, retrieved on 1/18/16 at http://www.hauridna.com/haplogroups/haplogroup-r.

 

Vignettes and such

I have been busy and not able to do as much research as I would like. But, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year and post a new message.

 

I have shared Martha Whitehead Moore’s stories before. Below is another story.

Grandpa takes us to the circus

This was in 1914 or thereabouts. Luther Harris drove Grandpa (Gus Stevens), Walter (Walter Chandler Stevens) and me to Athens to see the “then” popular circus, Barnum and Bailey.

I was frightened at seeing so many strange animals. The crowd was so thick, tall and big, I couldn’t see over the people. Luther, Bless his heart, picked me up and lifted me to straddle his neck on his shoulders in order to see what was going on. Then I felt safe and could see. Grandpa held Walter’s hand so that he would be OK. It was lots of fun – especially the monkeys.

Luther, the brother of my good friend Agnes, worked for Stevens, Huff & Co. – and boarded at Uncle Chandler’s (Walter’s father.) My father (Walter Whitehead) had worked at Stevens, Huff & Co and lived in one room in the back of the store. This was when he was about 16 or 18 and not married to Mama.

Stevens Martin [& Co.] grew out of the Sandy Cross store and there was a Stevens Whitehead in Comer (Uncle George [Whitehead]).

We were probably the first chain store in existence.

 

The reason why these little vignettes are so important is that they provide an insight into the lives of our ancestors. We all have stories and memories. However, something inside of us thinks that our memories are not worth writing down, not worth sharing. I beg to differ. I am grateful for Martha’s stories.  She shares funny times and frightening times, but each time we learn a little bit more about her and her family.  Here is one of mine.

When I was a young girl, my father used to take the four of us to see the Cleveland Indian’s play baseball at Municipal Stadium. It was also called Lakefront Stadium due to its proximity to Lake Erie. I remember several occasions going to the stadium for Bat Day or Ball Day. If there was a promotional day going on, we were there.

On one occasion, Dad, Kathy, David, Joey and I went to the lakefront prior to the game for a pregame lunch. I cannot recall if my mother packed us a picnic or if Dad bought us hot dogs. But I do remember a local news crew filming at the same location. I think we got o the news, but I am not sure if my memory serves me correctly? I will let my siblings chime in!

Chief Wahoo

Chief Wahoo at Municipal Stadium

Not sure where, but age is about right.

Not sure where, but age is about right.

What are some of your favorite vignettes?

 

The Bible

The Bible

 

My cousin Sara was kind enough to send me my second grandfather’s Family Bible. What a treasure.

I wrote in previous posts that George Wiley Whitehead married Cena Ann Mathews after returning home from the civil war. The date was 30 January 1866. Although many of the names are faded, I know them. I am proud to have learned about them through my research. George and Cena had seven children.

Bookmark inside Bible

Bookmark inside Bible

 

The purpose of a Family Bible, along with the scripture is that they provide vital records for the family long before these records were collected for the State. By looking at the penmanship and ink, I can tell you that several of the entries were copied into this bible from another source. A few entries at the end are in both a different hand and ink. For a genealogist, Bibles can provide clues to the elusive maiden name or a birth dates.

Think about how this Bible could have been used. Our ancestors did not have the internet, television or radio. The reading of the Bible could have been a weekly or evening event. This was their connection to the word of God outside of church.

Whitehead Family Bible

Whitehead Family Bible

This bible has a copyright of 1872, this was 6 years after George and Cena married. It is 143 years old. This book has been held by a multitude of our ancestors. It is an important piece of our heritage. I am proud to be the steward of this family heirloom.

Vital Record Page

Vital Record Page

My parents recently moved into a smaller place. In the weeks prior, I kept reminding my mom not to discard any family heirlooms. She knows how much I appreciate our family history. However, what may be special to me, others may think less of. We each have different memories attached to different objects.

What pieces of your past do you cherish? Share one or two of your favorites!