The original family historian

Emma Chloe Adams Whitehead

AKA Coco, Chloe

Today, I am going to write some of what I know about Emma Chloe Adams Whitehead.  Writing about this ancestor is easy; she left us a book about her family.  I am truly indebted to her for this.  It is because of this book that I got the idea that I could do the same for my branch.    I know I have met her twice once when I was about two and the other about 8 years later.  According to a letter my mom wrote to Chloe after our visit on 12 August 1971, I referred to Chloe as Co-Co.  Mom wrote, “Krista is still talking about Co-Co and Mae-Mae.”  I believe all her grandchildren did.

According to her book, at some point her Uncle Claud would call her “Amma Chloe”  She wrote, “Why does he bear down on that ‘Am’ instead of calling me Emma Chloe as others did.  This made my first name distasteful to me the rest of my life (p.256).

Chloe was born 1 September 1902 in Newton County, Georgia to Newton Columbus Adams and Mattie Elizabeth Barber.  She was the youngest of their 8 children.  Chloe’s mother, Mattie passed away when she was 3 years old.    Her father remarried a twice widowed lady, Eugenia Jackson on 27 November 1907.

According to her book, the family moved around a lot while her father was buying and selling real estate.  Before Chloe was born the family moved from Newton County to Cobb County and back again.  They lived in Oxford, Winder, Lawrenceville, Kirkwood, Hapeville, Mansfield in the period of 10 years or so.  Her mother was sick after caring for her father’s prolonged illness and the death of her mother in law.  “The doctor prescribed the Texas climate…he appeared to be a man who did whatever was necessary at the time and worried about the consequences later (p. 161).”  So, during 1904, Newt took his wife Mattie and his three youngest girls to Amarillo for 6 months.

According to the 1910 US Census, she was listed as Emma and lived in Dekalb County, Georgia, Kirkwood, District 33 with her father, step-mother, older sister Ella and step-sister Natalie Reed.  The census indicates that Chloe’s father Newton was employed in real estate.

I could not find Chloe in the 1920 Census, so I went back to her book and found out why.  Her father died in July 1917, her step-mother went to live with her mother in Atlanta.  Chloe stated that she “had to shuttle about between my sisters and brothers and her (step-mom) until she was married (Whitehead, 1983, p257.)”  So now, she has lost both parents and she is not even 15 years old.

In the 1930 Census, we find Chloe has married Walter Joe Whitehead, they have two girls, Martha Mae and Mary Elizabeth. Martha was six at the time of the census, and Mary was two-year old.  They lived next door to his father Walter E. Whitehead.  The location of this census is Madison County, Fork District.  The awesome part of this, is I seen both of these houses.  So I know exactly where they are.  According to my cousin Sara, Papa was courting a lady from Athens about that time.  It might have seem burdensome to the woman if she came into a family with his son’s family living with them, along with two grandchildren.

According to the 1940 Census, the last one that is available to the public.  Chloe is living with her husband Walter Joe, her father in law, Walter E. Whitehead and her two daughters are now 14 and 12 respectively.  They are still living in the big house in Carlton.

Papa’s House

Although we do not have any more census records to refer to we have something better.  We have her book, The Adams Family: James Adams Line, published posthumously by her daughters in 1983.

According to Chloe, Papa’s doctors advised him to give up driving the car.  “I drove him once or twice a day to his farms in Oglethorpe County for two years.  While he talked to his farm hands or prospective customers, I occupied my time crocheting baby booties in anticipation of the arrival of grandbabies, Sally; then Charlie (Whitehead, 1983, p.272).

Farming had changed by then, Papa died in 1951.  Joe, his son, was President of the Stevens-Martin Firm.  It was decided in 1962 that the business would close.  “Cotton was no longer ‘king’ and corn, wheat, and other grains could not reign in the south because of the lay of the land (p. 273).”

After this, and with her children grown, Chloe and Joe began to travel more.  It is interesting to read in her book all of the places they went: Cuba, France, Italy, Germany, etc.

 

Chloe was very active in her Church.  In her book she states she joined the Carlton Baptist Church in 1926.  I say convenience was on her side as the church was literally a block away!  She was in the choir, head of the music department.

 

Chloe had many talents in addition to playing music beautifully, she was also an artist.  Below are some paintings that Sara and Charlie shared with me for this post.

 

Chloe was also the family historian, she wrote the book in which I quote and refer to often.  She was the genealogist, the record keeper, the glue. Additionally, she wrote other stories and kept copious albeit disorganized notes and newspaper clippings.  Going through the contents of the Whitehead box, I feel a kinship.  She was the hub of the family.  While her husband carried on in the family business, She kept correspondence with friends and family..

Her husband, my Great-Uncle, died in the spring of 1965 (17 May 1965).  She went to live another 17 years without him.

Chloe Adams Whitehead

There is so much to write about her, but this is a good place to stop.  Her grandchildren Sara and Charlie have been so good to me since I have reached out to them.  Their extensive history of family is evident of their love of family.  I will leave you with this:

 

Charlie shared a snipped for me for this post.  When asked if he could share some memories, he wrote “OMG I only have about 100 volumes.  I never heard her cuss.  I never heard her raiser her voice…drink…smoke…get really angry.  She did love her Cadillac’s from 1960 on (she) got a new one every four years”

Until later, I will be exploring backwards.

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Patriot Walter E. Whitehead

My great-grandfather, Walter E. Whitehead, was the consummate patriot.  I have written about him several times.  You can read about him here:

https://exploringbackwards.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/the-spectrum-of-emotion/

https://exploringbackwards.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/what-is-a-quartermaster/

During my last visit to his home, my cousin Sara allowed me to bring home this box of Whitehead artifacts.  I call it that because while it pertains to my family, it is also a part of the American Story.  Take for example this letter to the editor, dated 24 December 1934.  Walter wrote this letter to the Athens Banner Herald in response to a news article they had run.  In this letter he exudes Patriotism.  I am going to give you a few lines here, and then let you read the rest in his own handwriting.

 

“The Legion (American Legion) believes that to protect and preserve union parallel the constitutional rights of its citizens is its first duty.  Our wars have not been fought for gain on territorial expansion but for human rights.  The signers of the Declaration of Independence, the writers of our Federal Constitution, our forefathers who won and established this free government, by force of arms have committed to our charge and keeping a great heritage (Walter E. Whitehead personal papers).”

“The Legion is proud of the courage and achievements of American Soldiers.  They have displayed heroic virtues on the field of battle and they are determined to pay them homage.  And it is their further purpose to instill in the minds of the coming generations, patriotic love for their country and its institutions (Walter E. Whitehead personal papers).”

My favorite line is “Our wars have not been fought for gain on territorial expansion but for human rights.”

Walter was a leader of men.  Recall he was a Georgia State Senator on two occasions.  He was also Commander of his American Legion Post, Rotarian President, Quartermaster, Major, Business Leader.  He also found a way to serve his country in three wars.

There are more speeches in this box, I will post some more later.

Page 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side Note:  Please take the time to look at the letterhead.  This letterhead is a story in and of itself.  For example, take the statement of goods: Guano, Wagons, Farm Implements and Cotton Buyers.  All of these items seem pretty normal in terms of a General Merchandise Store, however, guano sticks out.  I have only known guano to be bat poop.  But it turns out it was used extensively in the 19th and 20th century of farming.  See, a whole new post….if you can’t wait to learn more about guano, I found an article here:  https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/when-the-western-world-ran-on-guano

Additionally, please look at the members of the Stevens, Martin & Company.  This is the first time that I have seen my 2nd great-aunts, Cynnie and Pellie Stevens on letterhead.  I have heard that they helped the family immensely and neither of them ever married.

Family if you have stories to add, please feel free to comment here!  This is why I do this.

Until then, I will be exploring backwards.

 

Krista

 

William J. Sublett

William J. Sublett was my 3rd great-grandfather.  He was the third child born to Matthew and Frances (Key) Sublett about 1808 in Campbell County, Virginia.  Notice I do not have an exact date of birth.  This date is extrapolated from US Census records.  I started this post a while ago, then I realized that I had merged different ancestors together.  This is a common error in ancestry especially when the names are similar and born in similar places.

It appears William J. Sublett was married three times.  His first wife was Frances Jennings on 1 June 1834.  We do not know much about her.

William and Frances had a son, Matthew D. Sublett, in 1835.  Maybe Frances dies in childbirth, because William then marries Sarah Hamersley 25 July 1836.  We know these facts because these marriage records have been published.  Sarah and William have two sons and a daughter.  James W. born 1838, George Bland born 1847 and Melinda F. born 1849.

Matthew and George both go to fight in the Civil War.

Matthew was listed as a substitute on the Civil War Muster Rolls  with the 18th Regiment, Virginia Infantry, Company G.  Matthew tragically dies at the Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) on 30 Aug 1862.  This means he went in the place of more wealthy draftees.   I will detail his entire story at a later date.  This is very interesting because on the Whitehead side of my family, I have a relative that was not in the Revolutionary war because he was the wealthy one.

George Bland also served in the Civil War. You can read about him here: https://exploringbackwards.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/george-bland-sublett/

Returning to William J. Sublett, he lived a long life.

The 1850 Census is the first US Census with names.  This makes things much easier for the genealogist!  William and Sarah are living in the Northern District of Dinwiddie County with their children Matthew, James, George and Melinda.  William is listed as an overseer.  I presume this means he worked on a plantation as a supervisor over the slave labor.  This is hard to come to grips even 10 years after starting my genealogy journey.  I understand it was a profession of the era in which he was born.  But, I still get a little uneasy writing about it.  But, I am also a believer that we learn from our mistakes.  My father taught me that.

Dinwiddie County

By the 1860 Census, William and his family moved to Campbell County.  The Census indicates he lived in the Eastern District of Campbell County.  His real estate is listed as $970, and his personal estate is listed as $435.  He is listed as a farmer.  He lived in the Eastern District of Campbell County, Virginia with his wife, Sarah, his son George B, his daughter Melinda F.  Also residing in the home is a black male, age 60.  He is not listed as a slave.  His name is listed as Lewis Cobb.  This is important due to the time in which it occurred.  It looks like William had earned enough money to make it on his own.

Campbell County

 

In the 1870 Census, William is living with his wife Sarah.  Also living with them is George Bland (my second great-grandfather), back from the war with his wife, Timotheus Jane Bailey and their two young daughters, Ida and Emma.  The most interesting notation is a young black boy, aged 10 years old living with the family and listed as a nurse on the census.  What does that even mean?  The family is listed as living in the Eastern Division of Campbell County, Virginia.  The listed real estate value is $350 and the Personal Estate is $200.  The value of his real estate had diminished by $600, over 71%.  I believe this is a result of the ravages the Civil War had on the economy.

His second wife, Sarah, dies 11 July 1878.  Two months later William marries again.

At 69 years old, he marries for the third time to Mary Elizabeth Moore on 15 September 1878.  His wife was 45 years his junior.  According to the 1880 US Census.  William, his wife Elizabeth are living in Falling River, Campbell County.  Elizabeth’s younger brother Thomas, 18 was also living there.  Also living in the home was a cook and the cook’s two young sons.  This census does not ask any financial information.

The 1880 Census is the last place I find William Sublett.  He would have been 72, so it is likely he died before the 1890 Census.  I have not found his grave at this point.  But I will keep looking.  It is interesting the life story you can build just by looking at census records and putting them in the context of history.

I will continue to do work on my ancestors.

Until later I will be exploring backwards!