A Revolutionary Connection

One of the great things about genealogy and these National holidays is that I can put my family in the context of the times.  Therefore, this weekend as we celebrate the birth of our nation 240 years ago, I can marvel in the fact that I know that my ancestor Benjamin Sublett was a patriot fighting England for our Independence.

Benjamin was born to Pierre Louis Soblet and his wife Marte Martain on 23 April 1733 in Goochland, Virginia.  Benjamin is my fifth great-grandfather.  Benjamin was the sixth child born in this union.  His parents were Huguenots.  They fled France to Virginia in 1700.

Benjamin grew up with five brothers and a sister.  Both his parents were deceased prior to the Revolution.  Benjamin married Elizabeth Molly Jordan when he was 29 years old (24 June 1762).  Together they had nine children.

Benjamin was part of a variety of Regiments during the Revolutionary war, including the 5th and 11th Regiment.  According to a Sons of the American Revolution Membership application, Benjamin was first a Private and then a corporal in Captain James Grey’s Company of Foot; he was a Corporal of Major Stephenson’s Company.  He enlisted on 6 December 1776 and was discharged on 9 December 1779.  Benjamin has the distinction of having served under General George Washington at Valley Forge (source: Valley Forge Muster Roll).  He was discharged as a Sergeant (Cameron, 2008).

Muster Roll

Muster Roll

On 20 June 1783, Benjamin received a land grant (200 acres of land) as payment for his service to his country.  It was this land grant that moved the family to Kentucky (Kentucky Secretary of State, 2016).  Benjamin was fifty years old.  It is somewhat unclear exactly when the family moved to Kentucky.  It appears to be between 1788 and 1800. As his youngest daughter Mary Scott Sublett was born in Charlotte, Virginia on 12 February 1788 and his wife died in Kentucky in 1800.  I will have to look at deed records to get a more precise time.

Military Land Grant

Military Land Grant

Benjamin died around 1815-1816* and is buried in Highland Cemetery, Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky.  He was 82 years old.

*There seems to be some confusion on his date of death.  The marker indicates 1809; however, there seems to be information that there was a will dated 19 May 1815 where he bequeathed his property to his son Benjamin Branch Sublett.  His will was probated February 1816 (Source: Allen, 2008).

Benjamin Sublett Tombstone

Benjamin Sublett Tombstone

Sources:

Valley Forge Muster Roll, Retrieved on 3 of July, 2016 at     http://valleyforgemusterroll.org/muster.asp?id=VA33806

Allen, Cameron, The Sublett (Soblet) Family of Manakintown, King William Parish Virginia, 45th Anniversary Edition, 2008.

Kentucky Secretary of State, Military Register and Land Records, retrieved on July 4, 2016 at http://apps.sos.ky.gov/land/military/revwar/Revdetail.asp?Type=v&warrant=0899.0

 

Until later, I will be exploring backwards!  Happy 4th of July!

Photo Friday

Hi everyone!

Today I am going to share a handful of my favorite pictures.  Some you may have seen, and some probably not.  Photographs are terrific because they are a moment in time.  In the early days of photography, it was expensive and only really used for special occasions.  Fast-forward to today, where we each carry a camera in our pocket.  Nevertheless, I always enjoy looking at photographs.  There is always so much to learn from a picture.  Maybe that is why they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!

This is probably one of my top 5  pictures that I have found on my genealogical adventures.  I mean how darling is this?  What proud parents Walter and May would have been to dress them up and get this picture taken.  The year has to be about 1905 or so as Martha was the last born and is little girl in the foreground.  If we assume it was 1905, then the boys George Stevens, Walter Joe and Fred Augustus would have been 9, 7, 4 respectfully.

whitehead family portrait

This next picture is of Lacy Luke Sublett and his wife Virginia Odelle Moss Sublett,, my grandparents.  I love this picture because it shows a funny side of them.  My grandfather died when I was only 11 years old, but I remember him being a fun silly guy.  He could wiggle his ears.  I tried often to do the same, but failed.  I think this picture they are going out for a Halloween party or something else.  It makes me smile.

1-Lacy and Odelle 001

Lacy and Odelle

 

You can see the blonde hair in this black and white picture.  These sisters were born 2 years apart, on the very same day, it must have been hard not having a birthday all to yourself, but this picture is precious as it shows them as sisters and as friends.  My mom and her sister Carol are still close.  I do love the bond between sisters.  I cannot be certain what the year is; but if I was to guess I would say it was 1944.  What do you think Mom? Carol?

Carol and Betty

Carol and Betty

 

Last but not least.  This is my all time favorite.  This is my Aunt Viv and her best friend Lucy fishing.  If you look closely, they are fishing with cane poles and there are two good-looking fish on the line.  What makes this picture awesome is that they are still friends and in touch 60 years later.  Oh, and you probably noticed the religious habit they are both wearing.  I think the white color means they are a Novice in The Order.  Viv, can you let us know?  Regardless, I love this picture because it shows us the beginning of their bond, although they were not born sisters, they became sisters through their faith.

Lucy and Viv

Lucy and Viv

Thanks for reading.  I will keep exploring backwards.  Until next time.

 

 

Remembrance Poppies

Has it really been three years?

I got an email from Word Press stating that it has been three years I have been blogging.  I know now that the goal I set for myself was unrealistic.  What really happens when I decide to write a blog, is I have to go research the missing pieces.  This in itself is a great exercise because it focuses my attention on the subject at hand.  However, what it also does is slow things way down.  It takes a lot of time to explore backwards.  I want to have some facts but I also wish for some character sketches as well.  But please know if I am not blogging I am still doing the research that I love and uncovering the mysteries of our families past.

 

Today is Memorial Day, as I sit here and type, I am thinking of all my ancestors that fought in the wars of our country.  I also think of all the men and women who have served.  Whatever you do today, take a minute of quiet reflection and think about all the soldiers we have lost during our wars.  Then take a minute to think of the multitude of family members they left behind.  There have been great poems and memorials written and constructed to remember the fallen.

Below is the poem, In Flanders Fields, by Major John McCrae, a Canadian Doctor and Artillery Commander.  It is believed he wrote this poem after giving a burial service for his friend during a battle of WWI.

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Found on http://www.greatwar.co.uk/poems/john-mccrae-in-flanders-fields.htm

 

Moina Belle Michael, an American teacher, wrote a poem in response to In Flanders Field.

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

http://www.usmemorialday.org/?page_id=2

She then conceived of the idea of wearing poppy flowers as a way to remember and commemorate the fallen soldiers and also to benefit them with the sale of poppies.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

If you see a Veteran today asking for a donation, offering you a plastic poppy flower, you will know the true reason for this gesture.

Who are the fallen heroes in your life?  Take a moment today to remember them, I know I will.

 

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.