Wednesday, December 30, 2015

#39 of 52...John J. Stapler

Another one of my 2nd Great grandfathers is John Jackson. Stapler.  

John J. Stapler was born 27 July 1878 in Georgia.  His parents were Andrew Stapler and Sarah.  Andrew and Sarah had the following known children:

1). Parks B. Stapler (1874-1954)
2). General G Stapler (1879-1953
3). John Jackson Stapler  (July 1881-1956)
4). unknown

1900 US Federal Census, Haralson County, Georgia 15 June 1900.  John J. Stapler is found with his parents.  

Andrew Stapler (June 1835) age 64, married for 37 years, born in Georgia as well as his parents. Andrew is a Farmer. 

Sarah D. Stapler, wife,  (July 1845) age 54, married for 37 years, mother of 6 children, 4 living. She was born in Georgia, her father in South Carolina and her mother in Georgia.

General G Stapler, son,  (Mar 1878) age 22, born in Georgia, Farm hand

Johnny J. Stapler, son,  (July 1880) age 19, born in Georgia

Mary E.  Stapler, grand daughter, (Oct 1891) age 8, born in Alabama

Interestingly next door is a Parks Stapler and family. Parks is the right age to be Andrew and Sarah's son.  I will investigate further to verify this relationship. 

Also on the same census page is William Akin and family.  This family includes a daughter Allis age 13.  This may be the Allis Akins that John J grows up to marry.   

16 April 1905--J.J. Stapler and Miss Alis Akin were married in Haralson County, Georgia by S.R. Goldin M.G.  They obtained the Marriage License the day before. 

James and Alace (I've seen her named spelled multiple ways) had the following children. 

1). William Jack Stapler (1906-1974)
2). Tishie Stapler (1909-1974)
3). Sarah Stapler (1913-1996)
4). Murdock Okers Stapler (1916-1973)
5). Ollin Stapler (1923-1979)
6). Robert H. Stapler (1926-1987)
7). A. G. Stapler (1933-2002)
8). Essie May Stapler (1920-2003)
9). Florance Stapler (1930-2003)

1910 US Federal Census, Cleburne County, Alabama.  The family is now in Alabama.  John J. is a farmer renting his farm.  He is age 27 and has been married for 5 years.  It indicates that he and his wife both cannot read or write.  Alace is now 22 years old and she is the mother of 3 children with 2 living.
Jackson, son, is age 3 and born in Georgia.  Tishie is age 5/12 months and born in Alabama.  

1918 Sept 12--US WWI Draft Registration Card.  John Jackson Stapler, home address R.H. Bowdon, Georgia. Age in years 38. DOB July 27, 1878. White, Native born, Farming. He signed with and x (he was unable to read or write).  Height-Medium; Build-Medium; eyes-Blue; Hair-Black.  This registration was done in Cleburne County, Alabama.

1920 US Federal Census, I've not been able to locate the family in the 1920 census.  It is likely that they have been mislabeled.  I will continue to search for them. 

1930 US Federal Census, Carroll County, Georgia.  They are back in Georgia now.  John J. Stapler is renting his home, living on a farm.  He is age 49, married and was 23 years old at his first marriage. He is a farmer working on his own account.
Allice, wife, age 42 years. 
Jack, son, age 23
Sarra, daughter, age 16
Murdoc, son, age 14
May, daughter, age 9
Olen, son, age 6
Robert son age 3 years 8/12 months (it appears to say).

1940 US Federal Census, Carroll County, Georgia.  Same location as in 1930.  John Stapler age 58.  It indicates that he did not attend any school, ever.  He is still a farmer. 
Allis, wife, age 57 years. attended 1st grade
Olin, son, age 15, attended to 3rd grade
Robert, son, age 12, attended to 3rd grade
Florince, daughter, age 9, attended to 2nd grade
Amos, age 6, not attended school. 

John J. Stapler passed away on 1 January 1956 in Carroll County, Georgia.  He was 75 years old.  


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

#38 of 52...Lester Octavia Reid...

Lester Octavia Reid is one of my 2nd great grandmothers.  I find it unusual for a girl to be named Lester.

Lester was born about 1877 in presumably Carroll County, Georgia to her parents James Patrick Reid and Mitilda Jane Green.  Lester had the following known siblings:

1). Alonzo L. Reid (1874-1955)
2). Osceola C. Reid (1876-1953)
3). Robert Reid (1882-)
4). Lillie D J Reid (1888-1977)

I found Lester O. age 1 at home with her parents James P. age 30 and Mitilda J. age 24; siblings Alonzo L age 6, Osceola age 4 and grandmother Jane Reid age 66 in the 1880 US Federal Census for District 714, Carroll County, Georgia dated 19th June 1880.

December 24th 1895 Miss Lester Reid married Mr. W. T. Ivey.  The Marriage License was granted 21st day of December in Carroll County, Georgia.  They were married by W. H. Rowe JP.

Lester and husband William T. Ivey have three sons.
1). Paul Osren Ivey (1897-1972)
2). Robert E Lee Ivey (1903-1979) **My great grandfather
3). William Worley Ivey (1913-1994)

1900 US Federal Census dated 5th day of June 1900 Lester age 20 (Mar 1880) is living with her husband William T. Ivey age 22 (April 1878) with their son Paul O. age 3 (Oct 1896).  They are in 714 District, Carroll County, Georgia.

1910 US Federal Census they are living on Temple Road in the 714 District of Carroll County, Georgia.  Lester is now 33 year old, been married for 14 years and has 2 children born and living.  William is 35 years old and Paul is 13 and Robert E. L is 7.  It says that she can read and write.

1920 US Federal Census Lester is suspiciously missing.  William is found living in the same area as 1910 with all three sons and listed as being a widower.  I do not know where Lester is.  It is very curious.

1930 US Federal Census  I have not been able to locate Lester in this census either.

1940 US Federal Census Lester is alive and well living with her son William Worley Ivey age 27 and his wife Marie age 21 in Chapel Hill, Douglas County, Georgia.  Lester is age 63 listed as a widow.  It states that she was living in Carroll County in 1935 and that she went to the 4th grade of school. Her grandchildren are also there, Worley Jr age 5, Helen, age 3 and Barbara age 11/12 months.

At some point Lester is known to have remarried to a man with the last name Boyles. She is listed in the Georgia Death Index as having passed away 1 Aug 1961 in Baldwin County, Georgia at the age of 82 years and was a resident of Carroll County.

I find Lester interesting and I have many questions about her.  Where did she go from 1920-1940? I assume she was somewhere but where?  Did the fact that she had 3 children with lots of years in between them indicate something?  Marital issues?  Health issues?  Choice?

#37 of 52...William T. Ivey...

William T. Ivey.  That name sounds strong to me.  This William T. Ivey is one of  my 2nd great grandfathers.  William T. Ivey was born about April 1875 (or thereabouts) in Georgia.   I truly don't know a lot about this man.  I know that he married Lester Octavia Reid on 24 December 1895 in Carroll County, Georgia.

William T. and Lester Octavia had the following three known sons:

1). Paul Osren Ivey (1897-1972)
2). Robert E Lee Ivey (1903-1979) **My great grandfather
3). William Worley Ivey (1913-1994)

1900  Federal Census dated 5th June finds William age 22 living in Militia District 714, Carroll County, Georgia.  He was the head of the household consisting of wife Lesta (Lester) O. Ivey age 20 and son Paul O. Ivey age 3.  William is listed as being a farmer.

There are several Ivey families living nextdoor to William.  I can assume they are related, but have not investigated further.  There is a William age 52 and Keturah age 51 that are candidates for William T's parents.

There is a George N Ivey age 28 that is a good candidate to be William T's brother. My next step in this research will be to see if these are viable candidates for his relatives.

1910 Federal Census dated 9 May indicates that William age 35 years and Lester O. age 33 living in the same 714 District of Carroll County, Georgia.  William is still a farmer. He can read and write and is renting the farm.  Son Paul O is now 13 and son Robert E. L. is 7 years.
The William Ivey and Keturah F are still living nearby and are now ages 63 and 60.

1920 Federal Census dated 31 Jan 1920 is interesting to say the least.  William is listed as being 41 years old and as being a Widower.  The boys Paul O is now 23, Robert E.L is 16 and William W is 8.  William T is still a farmer.  The interesting this is this fact that he is a widower.  It is not actually true.  I have found Lester Octavia Ivey in 1940 living with youngest son William Worley Ivey.  I also found evidence that she remarried to a man with the last name Boyles and she doesn't actually pass away until 1961.  So why does it say she's dead?  A really interesting mystery there.  Is it telling that they have had three sons and they are spread apart in age?  They are about 6-8 years apart.  I will explore this further.

I do not have a death date for William.  I'm not sure when he passed away. I have some investigating to do.

Catching up?

As I attempt to play catch-up before the end of the year on this fun genealogy challenge of blogging about one ancestor a week (52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks) I realize just how much I've missed doing genealogy work.  I have been very busy finally deciding what I want to be when I grow up.  I'm working as an intern at a local hospital in the Lactation Consulting department.  I'm working through the requirements and education in-order to qualify and sit for the International Board Certified Lactation Examiners Test this coming October.

Despite all of my work, I realize now how I need to make time for at least an hour or two of genealogy work every once in a while.  I hope to continue to expand my family tree and fill in the branches with stories and photos and connect with distant relatives.

I may not get all of my 52 this year, but it was a great beginning and the 30 something that I did manage to get before I started back to school were fun to do.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

#36 of 52... Tishie Stapler

One of my great grandmothers is named Tishie Stapler.  I was kind of named after her.  I guess you could say that her name inspired my middle name.  My name is Sarah Latisha.  Mama said that she thought of Sarah Tishie but didn't want to be accused of naming after one side of the family over another.  Then she thought of Sarah Tisha but that sounded too country for her. Haha! So she settled on Sarah Latisha.  It sounded better to her.  I like it.  It's not common.  It's different.  I don't really use it much, but it is my name.

Tishie Stapler was born 6 Dec 1909 in Cleburne County, Alabama.  Her parents were John J. Stapler and Alis Akin.  John J. Stapler and Alis had the following known children.

1). William Jack Stapler (1906-1974)
2). Tishie Stapler (1909-1974)
3). Sarah Stapler (1913-1996)
4). Murdock Okers Stapler (1916-1973)
5). Ollin Stapler (1923-1979)
6). Robert H. Stapler (1926-1987)
7). A. G. Stapler (1933-2002)
8). Essie May Stapler (1920-2003)
9). Florance Stapler (1930-2003)

Tishie married Robert E. Lee Ivey in May of 1925.  They had the following known children:

1). Fred V. Ivey (1926-1981)
2). John William Ivey (1928-1969)
3). Charles Mayern Ivey (1930-2006)
4). Leonard W. Ivey (1934-1972)
5). Shirley Lucille Ivey (1936-1978) **my grandmother
6). Robert E Ivey JR (1938-2009)
7). Gene Ivey (1941-1989)*twin
8). Imagene Ivey (living)*twin
9) Carolyn Sue Ivey (living)
10). Mary Alice Ivey (died in infancy unknown dates)

Tishie passed away before I was born so I never got to meet her.  From the one or two photos I did see of her, she reminded me of my Mama, only taller.  My mama was only 5 ft tall, but Granny (as my Mama called her) appeared to be much taller.  

Tishie gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl.  She has been the first direct ancestor that I have knowledge of giving birth to twins.  That makes her very interesting to me.

#35 of 52...Robert E Lee Ivey

Robert E Lee Ivey is one of my great grandfathers.  He was born 21 Feb 1903 in Georgia to William T. Ivey and Lester Octavia Reid.

It is my understanding that Robert. E Lee Ivey was named after "The" Robert E. Lee.  I do not remember him but he did have the opportunity to actually meet me when I was an infant.  I have only seen one or two photos of him and I recall him being sort of tall in the photo.  I wish I had copies of photos of him.

Robert E Lee Ivey had two brothers.
1). Paul O. Ivey (1897-1972)
2). William Worley Ivey (1913-1994)

Robert E. Lee Ivey married Tishie Stapler in May 1925.

Robert and Tishie had 10 children.

1). Fred V. Ivey (1926-1981)
2). John William Ivey (1928-1969)
3). Charles Mayern Ivey (1930-2006)
4). Leonard W. Ivey (1934-1972)
5). Shirley Lucille Ivey (1936-1978) **my grandmother
6). Robert E Ivey JR (1938-2009)
7). Gene Ivey (1941-1989)*twin
8). Imagene Ivey (living)*twin
9) Carolyn Sue Ivey (living)
10). Mary Alice Ivey (died in infancy unknown dates)

I wish I knew more about Robert E. Lee Ivey.  It is my understanding that he was a farmer and worked very hard to keep food on the table for his family.

Robert E. Lee Ivey passed away 8 August 1979 in Carroll County, Georgia

Saturday, September 12, 2015

#34 of 52...James Christopher Allen...

One of my Great Great Grandfathers was James Christopher Allen.  That's a lot of common names strung together there.  Nice, strong names; but common.  I believe I have his information correct however.

James Christopher Allen was born 11 April 1859 in Spalding County, Georgia to John Edgar Allen and Mary Elizabeth Wiggers (or possibly Wigus).
I believe the following to be the children of John Edgar and Mary Allen.

1). John W. Allen (1858-1919)
2). James Christopher Allen (1859-1942)  **my 2nd great grandfather
3). Louisa Allen (1863-1959)
4). Singleton William Allen (1865-?)
5). Walter T. Allen (1868-1923)
6). Thomas J Allen (1869-1926)
7). Minnie B. Allen (1873-?)
8). Effie Estelle Allen (1879-1958)

James Christopher Allen married Claudia Vandora Welch 28 March 1886 in Henry County, Georgia.  They had the following known children:

1). Ector Allen (1889-?)
2). Trudie Allen (1892-1975)
3). Walter W. Allen (1894-1971)
4). Linnie May Allen (1896-1979)
5). Clara Allen (1901-1949) *twin
6). William Clarence Allen (1901-1973) *twin
7). Eunice Allen (1903-1968)
8). Emma Lois Allen (1906-1990) **my great grandmother
9). Sue Allen (1910-before 1920)

#33 of 52...Berney Jack Thomason SR...

Berney Jack Thomason Sr was my great grandfather.  I called him Afaw because I couldn't say Grandpa when I was little.  I had the opportunity to get to know him growing up.  He passed when I was living abroad in Japan and unable to make it back to the funeral.  It was very difficult for me to process his death without being able to attend the funeral.  It was a hugely emotional time for me.  Afaw had a crazy sense of humor.  He was fun.  I hear there was a different side to him, but I never saw that.  

He was a security guard at a bank and later at a car dealership.  I believe at one point he may have been a sheriff deputy but I'm not sure.  I remember seeing his pistol on the table growing up and knowing that we weren't allowed to touch it unless he was holding it.  It had a pearl handle I believe.

Berney Jack Thomason Sr was born 29 June 1937 to David Luther Thomason and Emma Lois Allen in Covington, Newton County, Georgia.  He was their third child and only son.  
He had the following sisters. 
      1). Helen Louise Thomason (1924-2013)
      2). Dorothy Mae Thomason (1926-1990)

Berney Jack Thomason Sr. married Shirley Lucille Ivey 28 Feb 1954 in Porterdale, Newton County, Georgia.  It was his second marriage, but her first.  He did not have any children with his first wife. 

Together Jack and Shirley had the following children.
1). Berney Jack Thomason JR (1955-2003)
2). Donna Jane Thomason (1957-2006) **my mother
3). Janet Elaine Thomason (living)
4). Beverly June Thomason (living)
5). Julie Shirlene Thomason (living)

Monday, August 31, 2015

#32 of 52...3rd Great Grandparents

32 weeks into 52 weeks of the year!  I'm of course writing this well after the 32nd week as I got behind during the summer break with the kids.

Did you know that each of us have thirty two 3rd great grandparents?  Thirty two!  Out of my thirty two I have names for all but four.  Also out of thirty two, I have four with the last name Allen!  They are all four on my mama's paternal side.  I wonder if they are related to each other?  I've not found that to be true yet; however Allen is not exactly an unusual name.  Below each one is listed along with their parents names (if known) and their family information.

1). Lucinda Francis Allen (09 May 1841-20 Dec 1925)
     Born in Georgia.
     Parents: David Richmond Allen and Nancy Mayo
     Married: 22 April 1857 in Walton County, Georgia to William Lewis Thomason
     Children: John William Franklin Thomason (1859-1886)
                   James David Thomason (1867-1937) *my 2nd great grandfather
                   Lewis Everit Thomason (1869-  )
                   Benjamin Martin Thomason (1871-1953)
                   Thomas A. Thomason (1873-1911)
                   Nancy E Thomason (1879-1921)

2). Martha Jane Allen (abt 1850-abt 1879)
     Born in Georgia.
     Parents: supposed to be John Allen and possibly Katherine Thomason, though I've not seen enough evidence to declare this to be certain.
     Married: 11 Dec 1867 in Putnam County, Georgia to John Fields Chapman.
     Children: Martha Jane Chapman (1870-1960) **my 2nd great grandmother
                   William M. Chapman (1872-1944)
                    Maggie Chapman (abt 1874-   )
                    John T. Chapman (1875-1963)

3). John Edgar Allen (abt 1833- unknown)
     Born in Georgia.
     Parents: unknown
     Married:   21 April 1857 in Spalding County, Georgia to Mary Elizabeth Wigers.
     Children: John W. Allen (1858-1919)
                   James Christopher Allen (1859-1942)  **my 2nd great grandfather
                   Louisa Allen (abt 1863-     )
                   Singleton William Allen (abt 1865-     )
                   Walter T. Allen (1868-1923)
                   Thomas Jefferson Allen (1869-1926)
                    Minnie B. Allen (abt 1873-   )
                    Effie Estelle Allen (1879-1958)

4). Emily Catherine Allen (1839-1931)
     Born in Crawford County, Georgia.
     Parents: unknown
     Married: 5 January 1866 in Spalding County, Georgia to John Wesley Welch SR
     Children: Walter Welch (1866-1892) *died of accident gunshot wound
                    Claudia Vandora Welch (1869-1971) **my 2nd great grandmother
                    Beresford "Ressie" F. Welch (1872-1939)
                    Sallie Dovie Welch (1878-1929)
                    John Wesley Welch JR (1882-1942)
It's interesting to have so many Allens on one branch.  I also have an Allen or two on another branch of the tree, but it's further back and one comes from England directly.  Do you know all of your thirty two third great grandparent's names?


#31 of 52...Emma Lois Allen

I was fortunate enough to have met two of my great grandmothers.  Emma Lois Allen is one of them.  She was my paternal grandfather, Berney Jack Thomason's mother.  My Mama called her Big Mama.  I recall seeing her a few times when I was a child.  I didn't get to spend as much time with her as I did my other great grandmother; personality differences and such, but I do remember her.

Emma Lois Allen was born 26 March 1906 to James Christopher Allen and Claudia Vandora Welch.  She had the following siblings.

1). Ector Allen (abt 1889-unknown)
2). Trudie Allen (1892-1975)
3). Walter W. Allen (1894-1971)
4). Linnie Mae Allen (1896-1979)
5). William Clarence Allen (1901-1973) *twin
6). Clara Allen (1901-1949) *twin
7). Eunice Allen (1903-1968)
8). Emma Lois Allen (1906-1990) **my great grandmother
9). Sue Allen (1910-before 1920)
10). Margie Allen (unknown)

Emma Lois Allen married  David Luther Thomason.  Together they had three children.

1). Helen Louise Thomason (1924-2013)
2). Dorothy Mae Thomason (1926-1990)
3). Berney Jack Thomason SR (1931-2003) **My grandfather "Afaw"

Even though I met her and kind of knew her, I don't really know much about her.  I don't know if that makes sense or not.  I recall a few times visiting her at her home, she lived on Washington Street in Covington, GA. I remember seeing her at Kroger sometimes when we would be shopping but she never really took up time with me or spoke directly to me.  She always spoke to my Mama.  I think Big Mama had a favorite grandchild and it wasn't my Mama and by extension I wasn't either.  I can say that she had either demensia or Alzheimer's so sometimes her behavior and the things she would say weren't what her normal personality would have been had she not been ill.  I remember when she passed away and we sat with my Afaw and my Great Aunt Louise.  There were a bunch of cousins there too.  1990 was a tough year for that side of the family since we lost Great Aunt Dorothy in a car accident as well.

Emma Lois lost her husband, David Luther Thomason in 1967.  She remarried Howard H. Denham, he was a widower.  Unfortunately he died unexpectedly in a car accident in 1972.  

Funny thing is I don't have any photos of her.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

#30 of 52...Martha Jane Chapman

As I do more research I find myself wondering more and more about the lives of my female ancestors.  I wonder what their lives were really like?  What were their likes and dislikes?  What kind of personality they had?  Were they strict and formal?  Were they lenient and relaxed?  Did they have a sense of humor or were they serious?  I want to relate more to them.  I do the same for my ancestors but especially for my grandmothers.

Today I'm focusing on a 2nd great grandmother on my mother's paternal side; Martha Jane Chapman.  Martha Jane "Mattie" Chapman was born 2 November 1870 in Putnam County, Georgia to John Fields Chapman and Martha Jane Allen, a daughter of John Allen.

John Fields Chapman and Martha Jane Allen had four children before her death. He remarried and had more children with his second wife.

1). Martha Jane "Mattie" Chapman (1870-1960) **my great great grandmother
2). William M. Chapman (1872-1944)
3). Maggie Chapman (abt 1874-     )
4). John T. Chapman (1876-      )

Mattie Chapman married James David Thomason 4 April 1886 in Newton County, Georgia.  Together they had ten children that survived childhood.  They had two known children to have passed young.

1). Willie Thomason (1888-1962)
2). Charlie Woodson Thomason (1890-1956)
3). Mary Lou Thomason (1892-     )
4). Henry Grady Thomason (1894-1980)
5). David Luther Thomason (1896-1967)  **my great grandfather
6). Susie Thomason (1899-1983)
7). Ludie Bea Thomason (1903-1988)
8). Howard Thomason (1908-1952)
9). Sallie Cleo Thomason (1911-2003)
10) Claude L Thomason (1915-1990)

Mattie gave birth to at least 12 children with 10 surviving to adulthood.  Mattie lived to be nearly 90 years old. She passed away 16 Aug 1960. She was widowed at the age of 67 when her husband died from a freak accident.  I wonder what she was like?  I've seen a couple of photos of her.  I can see the resemblance in her face of some of my aunts and even my Mama a little.  I did not get the opportunity to know that side of my family very well.  

Below is a photo I found on

Mattie Jane Chapman Thomason and her brother William (Buddy) Chapman
phyllishillking originally shared this on 5/18/2011 on

Saturday, August 29, 2015

#29 of 52...David Luther Thomason

One of my maternal great grandparents is David Luther Thomason.  David Luther was born 24 December 1896 to James David Thomason and Martha Jane Chapman.  He had the following siblings.

1). Baby Boy Thomason (1886-unknown)
2). Willie Thomason (1888-1962)
3). Charlie Woodson Thomason (1890-1956)
4). Mary Lou Thomason (1892-  )
5). Henry Grady Thomason (1894-1980)
6). David Luther Thomason (1896-1967) **my great grandfather
7). Susie Thomason (1899-1983)
8). Ludie Bea Thomason (1903-1988)
9). Howard Thomason (1908-1952)
10). Sallie Cleo Thomason (1911-2003)
11). Baby Girl Thomason (1913-   )
12). Claude L Thomason (1915-1990)

David Luther (I'm told he went by Luther) married Emma Lois Allen.  I just realized that I do not have their marriage date or any documentation about it.  I will add that to my research goals for the next year.
Luther and Lois had the following children.

1). Helen Louise Thomason (1924-2013) *We called her Aunt Ease, because saying Louise was hard sometimes for us kids.
2). Dorothy Mae Thomason (1926-1990)  *She was killed in a car accident.  I remember when this happened and it was awful.
3). Berney Jack Thomason SR (1931-2003) **This is my Grandfather, I called him "Afaw" which is my baby way of trying to say Grandpa and it stuck.

I did not get to meet David Luther because he passed 10 years before I was born.  I don't know much about him at all other than the facts I've gathered.  I remember my Mama spoke of him as being "Big Daddy" but I don't recall many stories about him.  I'd like to find out more about him as a person.

#28 of 52...Lewis Wade Curran

My great grandfather's name was Lewis Wade Curran, SR.  I did not have the chance to meet him but I've seen many photos of him.

Lewis Wade Curran was born 12 November 1903, Walker, Wood County, West Virginia to John and Elizabeth (Martin) Curran.  His other siblings were:

1). John W. Curran (1886-1962)
2). Clara Ellen Curran (1888-1954)
3). Margaret Curran (1889-     )
4). Charles Terence Curran (1891-1918)
5). Laura Esther Curran (1893-1975)
6). Thomas James Curran (1896-1934)
7). Nora Victoria Curran (1898-1976)
8). Cora May Curran (1900-1969)
9). Miner O Curran (1901-1992)
10). Lewis Wade Curran SR (1903-1972) **my great grandfather
11). Alice Florence Curran (1906-1999)
12). Letha I. Curran (1908-1983)
13). Ralph E. Curran (1911-1930)

Lewis Wade married Letha Hazel Marlow, daughter of George Monroe and Bertha May (Day) Marlow 12 August 1922 in Parkersburg, Wood County, West Virginia.  Lewis and Letha had the following children.

1). Leonard Leroy Curran (1922-1922)
2). Paul Edward Curran (1924-2002)
3). Homer Carl Curran (1925-2001)
4). Lewis Wade Curran JR "June" (living)
5). Russell C Curran (1930-2005)
6). Donald Vearl Curran (living) **my Papaw
7). Hazel Marie Curran (1936-2013)

Lewis and Letha were married for just short of 50 years.  He was a farmer and also worked as a Flagman for the State Road Commission.
Lewis and Letha Curran
Copy of snapshot in possession of Donald V. Curran

Thursday, July 23, 2015

#27 of 52...John Colvin Bussey

John Colvin Bussey is my great grandfather.  He is my grandmother Alice's father.  He died the year before I was born so I never got an opportunity to know him in person.  I did hear lots of fabulous stories about him though.  I also was able to hear his voice because my daddy made a cassette recording of him when he was a teenager.

John Colvin Bussey was born 19 November 1892 in Atlanta, Georgia to Samuel T. Bussey and Louella "Ella" Ledbetter.  He was their 3rd child.  His mother was 19 years old when he was born.  The children of Samuel T. and Ella Bussey were:

1). Willis Collier Bussey SR (1887-1966)
2).  Samuel T. Bussey JR (1890-1905)
3).  John Colvin Bussey (1892-1976)
4).  James Jefferson Bussey (1898-1959)

John Bussey grew up in Atlanta, Georgia.  His father was a stable boss for many years.

John spent some time in the Army in WWI.  He was drafted.  Below is a snippet from his service card.
WWI Statement of Service Summary Cards, CLM-396,

John first married Esther J. Alley, daughter of William and Lizzie Alley, 19 December 1919 in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia.  They were divorced 9 October 1928 in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia.  As far as I've been able to ascertain there were no children from this marriage.  I have not been able find out what happened to Esther after she and John divorced.

Second John Bussey married my great grandmother Troy Eugene Waller 17 August 1934 in Decatur, DeKalb County, Georgia.  It was a second marriage for both of them.  John adopted Troy's daughter Cora as his own.  John and Troy had the following children together.

1). Ella Alice Bussey (living)
2). Colvin Troy Bussey (living)

John Colvin was an artist.  He created stained glass windows in churches in the Atlanta area.  He had a fabulous vegetable garden and kept chickens.  He sustained an injury to his left eye rendering him blind.  He was left handed.

He passed away at home of a massive heart attack on Jan 4, 1976, he was 83 years old.

John Colvin Bussey, unknown date, original owned by Alice Bussey Curran

Thursday, July 9, 2015

#26 of 52...Richard Tennant

This marks the halfway point of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.  Today I'm going to talk about one of my 6th Great Grandfathers Richard Tennant.

Richard D.Tennant II was born sometime between 1739 and 1744 in Glasgow, Scotland to Richard Tennant Sr and Janet Wark. I have not found documentation of other siblings.  When Richard was about 16 years old he immigrated to Virginia with his parents.  The following is an account by Richard D. Tennant II's son Joesph taken from the book, "West Virginians in the American Revolutions" accessed from

West Virginians in the American Revolution [database on-line].

Richard D. Tennant II married Elizabeth Haught, daughter of Peter Haught Sr, in 1769 in Mooresfield, Hardy County, Virginia.  Elizabeth is thought to have been born in Holland.

Richard served in the Revolutionary War as a drummer, as per this snippet from the same book as above.

Richard and Elizabeth had the following known children.

1). Mary "Polly" Tennant (1770-1824)  **my 5th great grandmother
2). Peter Tennant (1773-1847
3). Elizabeth Tennant (1775-1860)  This memorial has a different birth date. 
4). Richard Tennat III (1777-1824
5). William Tennant (1778-1869
6). Alexander Tennant (1780-1869)
7). Joseph Tennant (1782-1872)
8.) John Tennant (1783-unknown)
9.) Adam Tennant (1784-1878
10. Abraham Tennant (1786-1875)
11. Margaret Ann Tennant (1788-1857)
12. Sarah Catherine "Kate" Tennant (1790-1863)
13. Jacob Aaron Tennant (1792-1874)

Richard passed away 18 Dec 1822. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

#25 of 52...Henry Martin Reid... has a new thing connected with the DNA results called "DNA Circles".  It connects you with others probable descendants of a single ancestor.  It uses DNA matching as well as actual family trees.  I'm in a big ol' circle for Henry Martin Reid.  There are 36 of us in this circle, including me, my Aunt Janet, and my two boys.  We're referred to as the Shirley Ivey family group since she is who we descend through.

Henry Martin Reid is my 5th great grandfather on my mother's maternal side. There are many family trees out there with Henry Martin Reid in them.  I am only putting information here that I'm fairly confident in the accuracy.  I'm leaving much out, as I've not been able to verify all of it yet.

Henry Martin Reid was born 3 Feb 1773 in Rowan County, North Carolina.  His parents were George Reid Sr and Margaret Chambers.

Henry Martin Reid married Edith E. Harrison who was born in 1782 in North Carolina.  They had the following children.

1). Lydia Reid (1802-1890)
2). Catherine "Katie" Reid (abt 1803-Unknown)
3) William Davis Reid (1806-before 1890) **this is my 4th great grandfather
4). Reuben Reid (1808-1852)
5). Elizabeth Reid (1814-1885)
6). Robert A Reid (1817-1873)
7). John Reid (1823-1904)

Henry Martin Reid passed away in 1853.

Monday, June 22, 2015

#24 of 52...Charlie Henry Waller...Moonshiner and Murderer?

Charlie Henry Waller was my 2nd great grandfather. He is my grandmother Alice Bussey Curran's maternal grandfather.

Charlie was born 27 July 1880 in Henry county Georgia to Samuel Waller and Elizabeth Serene Lee Knowles.  Charlie was their first child.  They also had the following other known children:

1). Charlie Henry Waller (1880-1955) *my great great grandfather
2). George W. Waller (1886-uncertain) 
3). John Waller (1883- 1944) 
4). Lula Waller (1889-uncertain)
5). Samuel L Waller JR. (1896-1961)

With the years between the children I would suspect that there were others and these were the only five to live through childhood; however Serena answered in both the 1900 and 1910 census as to having given birth to 5 children and having 5 living children.  My speculation could very well be off on that one.  

Charlie's father Samuel lived in Fayette, Fulton and Clayton Counties in Georgia.  He was always listed as a farmer in the census records.  Charlie married Ina Brown 13 October 1907 in Fulton County, Georgia.  You can see photos of them here.

Charlie and Ina had the following known children:
1). William Henry Waller (1908-1986)
2). Troy Eugene Waller (1909-1991) **my great grandmother, I called her Maw-maw
3). Bobby Gladys Waller (1911-1980)
4). Estelle Waller (1913-1942)
5). Lois Waller (1916-1979)
6). Clara May Waller (1917-1995)
7). Josie Lee Waller (1920-1995)
8). Herbert Albert Waller (1922-1995)
9). Ina Myrtle "Daisy" Waller (1924-1997)
A photo of all the children as adults can be found here.

My Maw-maw, Troy Waller Bussey used to tell me stories about bootlegging and that her father would run moonshine over the state line into Alabama.  She told me a story once about how they would put the liquor under the seat and then she would sit on top of the seat and hold the sleeping baby (it could have been anyone of her younger siblings) so the revenuers wouldn't make her get up and search under her when they crossed the line.  These types of stories fascinated me as a child.  My Nana was surprised that my Maw-maw would share such stories with me.  It seems that she was sharing with me a secret of the family.  

A few years after my Maw-maw passed away the stories of Papa Waller and the "Waller Gang" resurfaced and that once long held secret was out in the world.  Not only was The Waller brothers involved in moon-shining, but also there was a murder and relatives spent time in prison.  

In 1997 Bruce L. Jordan wrote a book called "Death Unexpected The Violent Deaths of Fayette".  Mr. Jordan's book has an entire chapter called "Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Snow... James Langston, October 28, 1922.  This is Chapter 5 of the book and it details the murder of Mr. Langston, a mail carrier.  The story is laid out very well in this book and if you want to read it, I have it to let you borrow.  Mr. Langston was found murdered in the vicinity of Kite's Lake.  A few weeks prior to Mr. Langston's murder the sheriff had located and destroyed a fifty gallon unit still.  My great great grandfather Charlie Waller and his brother John were caught headed in the direction of the still with a a wagon full of jugs.  Coincidence?  Not likely.

On October 31, 1922 my 2nd great grandfather Charlie Waller, his brother John Waller and a man named George B. Samuels were taken to jail on suspicion of murder but no charges were filed.  

To make a very long and quite intriguing story short; the Waller brothers and others involved in the still wanted the person that told on them to die.  The people, Ora Whittle and Oscar Dutton were sent out to do the deed.  They killed the wrong person.  Mr. Langston was not the person that turned in the still.  It was actually a fella named Ab Davis that was a fruit peddler and John Waller's own daughter Iula Waller!  

Oscar Dutton admitted to doing the actual deed and was convicted July 1925 to life in prison.  Ora Whittle was also convicted while always saying he was innocent.  He too was sentenced to life in prison.  Ora Whittle was likely the look-out.  The Oscar Dutton trial offered much fanfare and was a spectacle. 

John Waller, my great great Uncle was also tried.  His trial was on 7 July 1925.  Author Bruce Jordan describes it as "quietly, and with much less fanfare."  There were no defense witnesses and he was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder.  His daughter, Iula (Eula) testified against her father.  He was sentenced to life in prison.  

Even more people were caught up in the conspiracy to commit murder and were tried and sentenced to life in prison.  They were Melvin Windham and Rainey Cauthen who implicated Melvin Brown.  My great great grandfather, the subject of this blog post, was also convicted in December 1925 in the Superior Court of Fayette.  He was convicted of accessory before the fact and sentenced to life.  Though he is not listed in the book by Mr. Langston, a third Waller was convicted as well.  John and Charlie's brother George Waller.  

So there you have it.  Charlie Waller was both a moonshiner and also sort of a murderer.  While he didn't actually do the killing he was in on the idea of and set for the actions that caused the death.  So what happened next?  

see source at the end
The listing above is from the Central Register of Convicts for Georgia, 1817-1976 found on  The listing is for Charlie Waller, convicted of Accesory before the fact to murder, received into custody 12 April 1926 convicted by Fayette County, paroled July 25, 1932.  There is an interesting story that goes along with his parole for another post.  It has to do with his youngest child.

George Waller, convicted of murder, 11 Apr 1926 by Campbell County, paroled May 25, 1933. 

Above is John Waller, accessory before the fact to murder, convicted Dec 6, 1925 by Fayette County and paroled 13 Nov 1935.  
Ora Whittle (two cases), convicted of murder, Dec 6, 1925, Fayette and Cambell County.  Way over on his line it says that he escaped on 10 May 1930 and was not recaptured (at least on this document there is no record of it)!
Melvin Windham, convicted of murder, 19 Dec 1925, Fayette County, paroled 10 Sept 1933. Further over on his line however it states that he escaped twice.  Once 2 Nov 1928 to be recaptured 4 Nov 1928 and again 13 Aug 1931 and recaptured 23 Aug 1931. 

Rainey Cauthen convicted of murder, 19 Dec 1925 by Fayette County, paroled May 8, 1934.

Melvin Brown, who by the way was my great great grandfather Charlie Waller's brother in law.  Melvin was Ina Myrtle's brother.  Melvin was convicted of murder 13 Mar 1927.  It appears he escaped three times being returned twice.  Escaping 12 Nov 1927 recaptured 17 Nov 1927.  Escaped again 7 Feb 1930 and not being recaptured until 27 Aug 1932. The final time listed in this document is 2 Aug 1933 with no return listed.  

Charlie Henry Waller went on to live his life after he was paroled.  He passed away 16 Sep 1955 at the age of 75. 


Jordan, Bruce L. Death Unexpected: The Violent Deaths of Fayette. Atlanta: Midtown Pub. Corp, 1997. Print.

Volume Title : Central Register of Convicts, 1889, 1902-1951
Source Information Georgia, Central Register of Convicts, 1817-1976 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.
Original data: Prison—Inmate Administration—Central Register of Convicts, 1817–1976. Series 21/3/27. Georgia State Archives, Morrow, Georgia.
Source Description
Get the facts on time served by these inmates in the Georgia prison system.
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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

#23 of 52...John Curran

John Curran was my great great grandfather.  He was born 8 Sep 1856 in Athens, Ohio.  We are not sure why his family was in Ohio at that time, but it is assumed they were there for work.  His parents were Terrence Curran and Margaret McManus.  Terrence and Margaret had the following children:

1). Ellen "Nelie" Curran (1852-1932)
2). Mary A. Curran (1854-abt 1935)
3). John M. Curran (1856-1921) ***my great great grandfather
4). Catherine Curran (1858-1942)
5). Thomas Jacob (1860-)
6). Hugh Francis Curran (1862-1864)
7). William S. Curran (1864-1940)
8). Edward Curran (1866-1939)

John M. Curran
photo taken of large framed photo owned by Donald V. Curran, my grandfather.

John M. Curran (I wonder if his middle initial was for McManus?  I've only ever seen the M and I'm not even sure where I saw that) married Elizabeth Ella Martin 13 Dec 1886 in Wood County, West Virginia.
They had the following known children.

1). John W. Curran (1886-1962)
2). Clara "Clarie" Ellen Curran (1888-1954)
3). Margaret "Maggie" Curran (1889-unknown)
4). Charles Terence Curran (1891-1918)
5). Laura "Laurie" Esther Curran (1893-1975)
6). Thomas James Curran (1896-1934)
7). Nora "Norie" Victoria Curran (1898-1976)
8). Cora "Cory" May Curan (1900-1969)
19).  Miner O. Curran (1901-1992)
10). Lewis Wade Curran SR (1903-1972) **my great grandfather
11). Alice Florence Curran (1906-1999)
12). Letha I. Curran (1908-1983)
13). Ralph E. Curran (1911-1990)

John M. Curran was a farmer and a father.  As you can see, he and Ella, as she was called, had 13 children.  He passed away at the age of 65.  His obit speaks of kidney problems, but his death certificate indicates that he died of prostate cancer.