Guilford “Walker” Holt, my 2nd great-grandfather was born 22 February 1852 in Campbell County to Thomas and Elvira Holt. He was the 5th child born to Thomas & Elvira. They had a total of 8 children.
I do not know much more information than what I found in the Census records.
Walker is listed as only 7 years old in the 1860 census. Their post office is listed as Brookneal, Eastern Campbell County. Thomas, Walker’s father, is listed as an overseer of a farm and has an estimated combined real estate & personal property estate $1532.
In the 1870 census, Walker is living and working at home. His father’s estate is now valued at $2852. However, their post office is now listed as Lynchburg, which is about 30 miles away from Brookneal.
The 1880 census, lists Walker still living and working at home on the farm. No financial information is asked in this census.
Walker marries Sue Etta Wood in 1881, he was 29 years old, she was 20 years old.
The 1890 Census was destroyed by a fire at the Commerce Building in Washington, D.C.
The 1900 Census shows Walker as head of Household, it also gives us the first look at his family. It indicates he was married in 1881 to Sue. He is still listed as a farmer. Living with him are his children, Georgia (my great-grandmother), Archie, Valie, Chas and Eivel.
1910-Virginia 1910 Census Miracode Index lists the Walker as head of household, living with his wife, Sue. Also at home is Archer, age 23, Charlie, 16, Ewell, 13, Manley, 6. His daughter Georgia is not longer listed at the residence (we will discuss her at a later date).
1920-Wallker is 67 years old; He owns his own farm. He is now living with his wife, his son Manley Thomas and has a step-daughter by the name of Lena Martin who was born 1915.
Walker dies on 30 April 1929. He was 77 years old.
Last year when I went on my Virginia genealogy adventure, we went to the Falling River Baptist Church in Brookneal where he was buried. It was a beautiful cemetery. I remember it was a very sunny day. Several of the tombstone photos I took didn’t turn out as good as I had hoped because there were shadows from the big trees. There were a lot of other headstones with the name HOLT. I took pictures of them in advance, knowing that I was probably related somehow.
Here is a picture of a cow going for a swim in the tank.
I can’t help to think about his life during that time period. He was about 11 years old at the start of the Civil War. He would have been about 13 when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. So he would have lived through Reconstruction. If my teachers would have told me that my second great-grandfather lived through reconstruction, do you think I would have listened more closely? Nah, I don’t think so either. But now, just to imagine them there, I can visualize him and his family.
In 1873, Walker would have been 21 years old when the Panic of 1873 occurred. This was one of the first international economic depressions. I am usually not in favor of using Wikipedia as a source, but this one is pretty well documented. You can read about the Panic of 1873 here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1873
What kind of farmer was he? Did he grow tobacco like so many farmers did back then? These are some of the questions I ask as I explore backwards.
I know the picture is terrible. But that is all I have.
Until next time, I will be exploring backwards!