Decoration Day

The readers of this blog realize that most of my relatives derived from the states below the Mason Dixon Line.  My third great grandfather, Thomas Harrison Holt, was no different.  Thomas Harrison Holt was born between 1814-1818 in Campbell County, Virginia.  When I started this post, I held the belief that Thomas was a veteran of the War Between the States.  However, through further research, the Thomas Holt that I saw in War records was not my Thomas Harrison Holt.  I was going to do this post for Decoration Day.  Although I know that, he did not actually fight in the War between States, he and his family were impacted by this War.  How could any family not be?

When researching an ancestor, I always start with Census records.  These records usually give us the best opportunity of learning about the lives of our Ancestors.  The early years of the Census were difficult.  The main obstacle, trying to determine family members, is not easy with early census records because the US Census did not include names or ages until the 1850 census.  They used tic marks and age ranges.

However, if Thomas’s father was William H. Holt, and I believe he was, we can infer some family dynamics by looking at the census records of 1820, 1830, and 1840.  Unfortunately, the 1820 census for William H. Holt does not have a readable header as such the only thing I learned is the William H. Holt was living in Campbell County in the Lynchburg District.

In the 1830 Census, we see that Thomas was likely living with his parents and seven siblings.  This census shows that the Holt family did not own any slaves.

In the 1840 Census for William H. Holt, it shows a male that was between the ages of 15 and 20.  However, if we believe that Thomas was born about 1818, he would have been 22 years old.  I looked at the names around Thomas’s father and did not see Thomas’s name.  I know Census records are historically inaccurate for a variety of reasons.  Therefore, we will conclude that we do not have enough information to determine where Thomas lived in the 1840 Census.

On 2 October 1843, Thomas Harrison Holt married Elvira Hancock in Campbell County, Virginia (Ancestry, 1999).

The US Census changed formats in 1850 and began to show names and ages.  We meet Thomas’s family in this census and learn that his job is of an overseer.  Thomas is listed to be 31 years old, has zero dollars of real estate.  His children are Arvella, Leroy, Laura, and Elvira A D.  The family lives in Campbell County, Virginia.    He does not show any monetary value in the Real Estate column.

The 1860 Census indicates that Thomas and his wife are living in the Eastern District of Campbell County, Virginia with 7 children, Arvella, Leroy, Laura, Guilford Walker (my second great grandfather), Mary Agnes, Queen and Nannie.  We no longer see Elvira A D.  Thomas remained an overseer.  His real estate is listed at $1100 and his personal estate $432.  His eldest daughter, Arvella is 16 years old and is listed as a Domestic.  Leroy and Laura are attending school.  Guilford, Magdalia, Queen and Nannie are listed as living in the home.

The War Between the States began in April 1861 and did not conclude until four years later.  The War profoundly shaped our country and its citizens, our ancestors.  For example, Thomas’s son Leroy C Holt would have been 17 years old when the war broke out.  We do not see him in any family records after the war.  You have to wonder what happened to him.

In the 1870 Census, Thomas is a Farmer living in Campbell County, Virginia.  His value of real estate is listed as $600 and his value of his personal estate is $250.  His wife is listed as keeping house.  His twenty-one year old daughter Laura is working as a Seamstress.  His son Guilford Walker is working on the farm with him.  The younger four children, Magdalia, Queen, Mary Agnes and Earnest are listed as living at home.  There is a sixty-five year old Black Male living in the home that is working on the Farm.  His name is Lyman Stern.

I was able to locate the 1870 Non-Population Schedule for Campbell County, in which is shows what type of agriculture my ancestors took part in.  These records point toward the type of work he did.  According to this document, Thomas had 61 acres of land, 37 acres of which were woodland.  The cash value for his farm was $600 and the cash value for his farm implements was $15.  Thomas owned one milk cow, one working oxen, 10 sheep and 5 swine.  The total value of livestock was $305.  His farm produced about 33 bushels of winter wheat, 135 bushels Indian corn, and 50 bushels of Oats.  His farm produced approximately 1,800 pounds of tobacco.  Since I did not know what this means in terms of wealth, I looked at the other farms on the page.  It looks like Thomas had an average sized farm.

The 1880 Census represented a big change for the US Census; there were several more questions on this form.  Unfortunately, for some of us, the Census takers did not always complete the records entirely.  For example, the 1880 Census had a spot to write down the street and house number for each family.  Regrettably, the census taker for my ancestor did not write this down.  We do know that Thomas and his family lived in Campbell County, in Falling River District, 041 Enumeration District.

Thomas (62) and his wife, Elvira (52) have four children still living at home.  Guilford (28) is a farmer.  Queen, Mary Agnes and Earnest are still living with in the home.  The census no longer asks about income, but does ask about certain disabilities.  The ages documented over the various years varied so much.  In some documents, Thomas and Elvira are as close as 5 years in age of each other.  This is why you cannot rely just on census records.

The last record I have on him is from the Virginia, Deaths and Burial Index.  It indicates that he died on 12 March 1884 in Campbell County, Virginia in the Staunton River District.  He was 70 years old (Ancestry, 2011).  This would have made his year of birth 1814.  However, we might never know.

I have not been able to find a photo of his tombstone.  Nor do I have really any photos to share.

So, this weekend as you fire up the grill or you go out on the lake for the first time, remember those ancestors of ours that gave the ultimate sacrifice fighting for something they believed in.

Until later, I will be exploring backwards.

 

 

Source:

“Virginia Deaths and Burials, 1853–1912.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.  Retrieved from Ancestry.com.

Virginia, Compiled Marriages, 1740-1850, Dodd, Jordan R., et al.. <i>Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850</i>. Bountiful, UT, USA: Precision Indexing Publishers. Retrieved from Ancestry.com.

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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.

 

Mrs. J. T. Sublett

The last time I posted, I wrote about Georgia Holt Sublett. Today, I write about her again but this time it is her obituary. I have a slip of paper that equates as her obituary. It has a jagged edge and is faded with the years. However, it tells us a story, and even more facts.

Georgia Kate Holt Sublett

Georgia Kate Holt Sublett

It reads, “Mrs. Georgie Holt Sublett, 67, wife of J.T. Sublett, died at her home at Naruna Monday night at 9 o’clock. ”

I am not an expert in obituaries, but I suspect most of the current ones do not give the specific time of death. I am not sure why this one does.  Do you?

What the slip of paper cannot tell me because it has been cut away, is that Georgie died on 10 April 1950. She was only 67 years old. The obituary does not tell us the cause of death, but it does tell us that she was survived by her own mother and her husband.  I may have to send away to find out cause of death.

The obituary also gives us a look into her family, as we read that all of her daughters are married. It seems like an oversight or something as only one of the daughters is listed by name. As an amateur genealogist, I like to see the names of the siblings and their locations. This helps me in finding out more about them.

Below is a great picture of her and her mother.  My grandfather Lacy is standing there in his overalls.  I believe it is Clarice, the youngest in her arms, but I am not certain.  I do not know how old Lacy is, but he looks younger than 10, if this is true, we can safely say that this photo was taken before 1920.  I wish there wasn’t a shadow on my grandfather’s face.

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

Until next time, I will keep exploring backwards.

Another Tract of Land

One of the important things about genealogy is placement of our ancestors in the time and space in which they lived. I have learned more about history than I ever thought I would.

Recently, I found another piece of property for sale that has a family Tract name. The name Holt was my great-grandmother’s maiden name. Georgia Kate Holt was born 26 Mar 1883 in Naruna, Campbell County. I wrote about her father, Guilford “Walker” Holt last July on this blog.

Holt Aerial

Google Image of the Holt Tract

Google Image of the Holt Tract

The interesting thing about find this property is to ponder all of the life’s events that occurred here. Georgia Kate was the eldest child of Sue and Walker Holt nine children. Raising nine children is rough anytime but this was after the Civil War, and the Wild West was in full swing. Jesse James and Billy the Kid are both shot and killed. The Brooklyn Bridge and the Washington Monument are both completed before the turn of the century.

Georgia and her siblings were born and raised in Campbell County. The census records indicate that they lived in the Falling River District, which is located near and around the town of Naruna. Tobacco was the major crop for Campbell County. “Brookneal served as a major tobacco market for many years” due to its proximity to the Staunton River (Campbell County Website). This was probably the crop of my ancestors.

 Georgia Holt Sublett 001

I cannot seem to find the marriage date for Georgia Kate and John Thomas, however, according to the 1910 Census, we find them living in Campbell County, and luckily, one of the census questions was how long in present marriage. They indicated 9 years. Therefore, it is safe to assume that sometime after the 1900 census, they married. There is no way to know how far away the lived from her parents. We do know that they remained in the same Enumeration District (Falling River) during the 1910 and 1920 census. Georgia’s father dies in the spring of 1929. On the 1930 Census, Georgia’s mother Sue Etta Wood Holt is now living in the home with Georgia and her husband John Thomas.

Georgia and John Thomas go on to have children of their own: Claudia, Anne, Lacy, Mae and Clarice. We have already discussed my grandfather Lacy Luke Sublett, but we will soon discuss the others.

JT Sublett and Georgia 001

Until later, help me explore backwards.  If you have anything to add, please let me know.

 

 

 

Guilford Walker Holt

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.

Cow in the pasture

Cow in the pasture

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.

Guilford Walker Holt

Guilford Walker Holt

I know the picture is terrible.  But that is all I have.

Until next time, I will be exploring backwards!

 

 

John Thomas Sublett

John Thomas Sublett was my great-grandfather.  He was born 20 August 1877 in Campbell County, Virginia.  John Thomas was the sixth child of seven born to George Bland Sublett and Timotheus Jane Bailey.

According to the 1880 US Census, they were living in Falling River, Campbell County.  His father George was listed as a farmer.  By 1900 however, John Thomas (age 22) and his parents George and Timotheus are living with his sister Ida Sublett Dyer and her family.  Ida’s husband Tom Dyer, is listed as owning a farm.

By the 1910 Census, John Thomas “JT” is now listed as married and living with his family in Falling River, Campbell County, Virginia.  His wife, Georgia Kate Holt are listed as have been married for 9 years.  This would estimate their marriage about 1901.  Claudia, Anne, and Lacy all show up on this census.  JT is listed as a farmer renting his land.

The 1920 Census, JT and his wife are still living in Falling River Campbell County.  Claudia, Anne, Lacy and Mae are listed as well.  JT’s father George Bland is listed as a widow and is living with them.

According to the 1930’s census, JT is listed as a Foreman for the State Highway.  Georgia is there raising the last two girls, Mae and Clarice.  Georgia’s mother now resides with them (Sue Holt).  They also list Ralph Dudley (Boarder).  This census asks the participants the age at first marriage.  JT (25) and Georgia (17).

The 1940 census was just released this year.  According to it, JT is a maintenance patrolman for the Highway Department.  JT and his wife, list his nephew Fred Sublett and Georgia’s mother Sue Holt as residing within the home.  We also know for certain that they live and own the Naruna home (13 County Road 605, Naruna).  Fred Sublett is listed as the Farm laborer.  It is probably safe to assume that he was running the farm.

One of the interesting things I learned about JT came from the inscription on his cemetery marker.  It indicated and Larry Burruss (first cousin 1x removed) confirmed that he was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  It is an interesting organization built upon three links-Friendship-Love-Truth.  The basic premise is to work together as a community of variety of trades for the common good.  You can read more about them here.  http://www.ioof.org/aboutus.html

I will post more about JT at a later post.  I just wanted to get his timeline down.

John Thomas Sublett and Georgia Kate Holt Sublett

John Thomas Sublett and Georgia Kate Holt Sublett

JT and Georgia in front of Family Home

JT and Georgia in front of Family Home