Thursday, May 28, 2015

#21 of 52...James David Thomason...Killed by Dynamite Blast

My great great grandfather, James David Thomason was killed in a freak accident in 1937.  Here's a snippet of the Newspaper article.

The Covington News, Friday January 15, 1937
Vol 73, Front Page

The family was moving from their house to another home near-by.  Mr. Thomason was cleaning up the place and swept the debris into the burning fire and there was a stray blasting cap there.  It ignited and blew up, almost instantaneously killing him.  I had heard this story passed down through the family. 

James David Thomason was born 25 March 1867 in Newton County, Georgia.  His parents were William Lewis Thomason and Lucinda Francis Allen.   William and Lucinda had the following known children:

1). John William Franklin Thomason (1859-1886)
2). James David Thomason (1867-1937)  **my great great grandfather**subject of this post
3). Lewis Evrit Thomason (1869-?)
4). Benjamin Martin Thomason (1871-1953)
5). Thomas A. Thomason (1873-1911)
6). Nancy E Thomason (1879-1921)

James David married Martha Jane (Mattie) Chapman, daughter of John Fields Chapman and wife Mattie, 4 April 1886.  James David and Mattie had the following known children:

1). Baby Boy Thomason (1886-?_)
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** {aka: Big Daddy to my Mama}
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-unknown)
12). Claude L Thomason (1915-1990)

#20 of 52...Youarkee Catherine Lowers Marlow

Youarkee Catherine "Kate" Lowers Marlow was one of my 3rd great grandmothers.  She was born 17 July 1838 in Harris, Wood County, (West) Virginia.  Her parents were Thomas Lowers and Catherine Deem.  Thomas and Catherine had the following known children:

1) Mathias Lowers (1824-1902)
2) George Washington Lowers (1830-1880)
3) Eve Ann Lowers (1833-1881)
4) Mary Jane Lowers (1835-1912)
5) Yoarkee Catherine Lowers (1838-1909) ***my 3rd great grandmother
6) Martha Lowers (1839- unknown)
7) Thomas Alexander Lowers (1846-1917)

There was quite a bit of speculation throughout the family and over time as to Youarkee having Native American ancestry.  I've not seen that in my research; however I never say that I'm perfect in my research and there is always a possibility.  The name Youarkee is unusual, but was in my 3rd great grandmother's family.  Youarkee Catherine's mother Catherine Deem had a niece named Youarkee Everly Deem.  I've not sucessfully found out the origin of the name.  It is very unique though.

Youarkee "Kate" Lowers Marlow   unknown date. 
 This is a cropped version of the original.  The original features Levi as well as Kate and a daughter-in-law.  I do not know who has the original as this photo has been copied and passed all around to the many Marlow descendants.  

Youarkee "Kate" Lowers married Levi "Doc" Marlow son of Joseph Marlow and Margaret Allen in 1860.

Kate and Doc had the following known children:

1) Benjamin Franklin Marlow (1860-1927)
2) Levi Newton Marlow (1867-1940)
3) Lewis Napoleon Marlow (1869-1953)
4) Ella Catherine Marlow (1871-1947)
5) Shelton Marlow (1874-1877)
6) Floyd Leroy Marlow (1875-1950) *who married Clara Ellen Curran (my Great Grand Aunt, sister to
                                                             my great grandfather Lewis Curran)*
7) George Monroe Marlow (1877-1954) ***my Great Great Grandfather***
8) Earl Hardwick Marlow (1881-1952)
9) Clara Viola Marlow (1883-1887)
10) Thomas J. D. Marlow (unknown-1861)

Since I've seen this photo for many  years I always envision Kate as being a really strong woman.  She just looks strong to me.  The Deem, Marlow and Lowers families are all documented pretty well.  I've not verified a lot of the far back information.  The Deem family appears to be from Germany.  The Lowers family believed to come from The Netherlands and Marlow it seems to be English.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

#19 of 52...Eugene Ledbetter...a Lost Uncle Found

I've mostly been keeping these posts limited to actual direct line ancestors and not collateral relatives; however, I feel that they are all our relations and I am including them.  Today I'm going to talk about Eugene Ledbetter, brother to my great great grandmother Lou Ella Ledbetter Bussey.
I have always been fascinated by Ella Ledbetter Bussey, since she was my grandmother's grandmother.  My Nana to this day speaks of Ella with high regard and remarkable love.  She calls her Mama Bussey and she was an influential person in my Nana's life.  There is a fantastic photograph of Ella in riding boots and a hat.  Somewhere I think I have a copy of that photo.  I really need to organize my stuff better!  Anyway,she always seemed like a spitfire and someone I wish I could have gotten the opportunity to know.  So Ella has long been a research topic for me.  Nana has said that Ella was an orphan and that the relatives that she lived with was mean to her.  Of course I wanted to search for her family and find out what happened.  As far as Nana knew, Mama Bussey had no siblings, at least none she ever spoke of.

I started researching going back through each census year.  When I started the newest one was the 1930 census.  I traced Ella back during her married life.  I started trying to find her prior to her marriage.  Her Family Bible has her listed as being born in 1872 and I take that as being pretty accurate as it was her Bible and she wrote the information in there or had someone do it for her. The first census she would be listed in would be the 1880.  I searched and searched finally finding who I believe to be her in Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia living with the mysterious Elizabeth Lawrence and her children.  In that census it lists Ludella (which we think is actually Louella) Ledbetter and right under her name is a Jene Ledbetter.  Jene?  Who's Jene?  Could it mean Eugene?  And now it appears that Ella had a brother named Eugene!  This was news to us.

I continue searching and searching and cannot find anything about their parents nor anything about Eugene after that single census.  I make the assumption that he died in childhood and the likelihood of finding a document about it in Georgia is very low.  I searched, found a memorial for Eugene from Hollywood Cemetery in Atlanta.  I realize that this is the same cemetery where Ella is buried.  The person that set up the memorial had written information and had a death certificate number.  I contacted her and she stated that she got the information from the death records at the Georgia State Archives.  I start searching the Georgia Archives website with the death records found a Eugene's death certificate.  It is then that I truly know that he is indeed our uncle.  He died at the home of Ella as it lists her address.  Also as informant is Ella's son JJ (James Jefferson) Bussey.  That solved the one mystery of who was Jene/Gene?  It lists his parents as Alice Mull and John Ledbetter; which simultaneously gives information and creates more questions.

Where exactly was Eugene between 1880 and 1903?  I believe to have found him in the Atlanta City directory starting in 1903, but cannot be certain that it is him listed.  I have not found him on any census after 1880; but he should be in 1900, 1910 and 1920.

Eugene Ledbetter (1876-1929)

Monday, May 18, 2015

#18 of 52...Samuel Groom SR...

Samuel Groom SR,
copy of photo sent to me by Marion Schaal

This is my husband's Great Great Grandfather.  My husband's grandma sent me this photo last month and I was very happy to receive it.  He looks quite dapper, doesn't he?

Samuel Groom SR was born 9 April 1874 in Belleville, Illinois to James Groom and Hannah Tate.  James and Hannah had the following known children.

1). William Groom (1865-1939)
2). John Groom (abt 1871-1935)
3). Richard Groom (1872-unknown)
4). Samuel Groom (1874-1942) **my husband's great great grandfather
5). Isaac Groom (abt 1876-1952)
6). Rachel Groom (abt 1877-1933)
7). Alexander Groom (1880-1946)
8). Thomas Groom (1883-1951)
9). Elizabeth Groom (abt 1886-1940)
10). Ann Groom (1887-1925)

Samuel Groom SR married Katherine "Katie" Haas 6 June 1896 in Belleville, St. Clair County, Illinois. They had the following known children.

1). Viola Groom (1899-1956) **my husbands great grandmother
2). Leona Groom (abt 1902-unknown)
3). Samuel Groom JR. (1903-1956)
4). May Groom (1909-2002)

Samuel Groom followed in his family's footsteps and was a coal miner.

#17 of 52...Martin Dial...Oldest direct male ancestor...

I wrote about the oldest direct female ancestor in the previous post. Now we are going to talk about the oldest male.  I found Martin Dial, my 6th great grandfather and he lived to be 98 years 11 months and 27 days old; almost 99 years old.  

Martin Dial was born 30 Dec 1744 in North Carolina (though some stories say it was England) to Henry Arthur Dial and Isabella May Hastings.  Henry and Isabella had the following known children.

1) Hastings Dial (1732-1809)
2) James Dial (1734-unknown)
3) Martin Dial (1744-1843)

There are ten years between Martin and his next oldest sibling, which usually indicates that there were other children born.  I have not seen any information regarding other siblings, though I would not be surprised if there certainly were more, sisters even.

It is said that Martin Dial served in the Revolutionary War for America while his brothers were indeed Torries.  There have been many stories written about Martin Dial and genealogical books such as "Martin Dial and Related Families" by Hastings Harrison.

Martin married Chrystie Abercrombie in 1775.  They had the following children that I've found.  I am missing many dates for these children.

1) John Hastings Dial (abt 1882-aft 1860)
2)Isaac Dial (1791-1864) ***my 5th great grandfather
3) Jonathan Dial
4) Martin Dial Jr
5) James Dial
6) Hannah Dial
7) William Dial
8) Colvill Dial

There are many, many Dial descendants. Martin passed away in Gray Court, Laurens County, South Carolina on 26 Dec 1843.
Almost 99 years old!

#16 of 52...Claudia Vandora Welch Allen...oldest direct female ancestor

I went through my tree and looked for people that lived the longest lives. I narrowed the list down to ones that I was fairly sure of the accuracy of their correct birth and death dates.  I realized that my Great Great Grandmother Claudia Vandora Welch Allen "Claudie" lived to be 102 years and 25 days old!  She is my ancestor through my mother's paternal grandmother's side.

Claudia Vandora Welch was born 6 Aug 1869 in Henry County, Georgia to John W. Welch and Emily Catherine Allen.  John W and Emily had the following children:

1). Walter Welch (1866-1892)
2). Claudia Vandora Welch (1869-1971) **my 2nd great grandmother
3). Beresford "Ressie" Welch (1872- 1939)
4). Sallie Dovie Welch (1878-1929)
5). John W. Welch (1882-1942)

Claudia married James Christopher Allen 28 March 1886 in Henry County, Georgia.  I'm not sure if he was related to her through her mother or not.  That would be something to investigate since I do not have Emily Cahterine's parent's information.

Claudia and James had 10 known children though in the 1911 census she indicated that she had 11 children with 8 still living.

1). Ector Allen (abt 1889-unknown)
2). Trudie Allen (1892-1975)
3). Walter W. Allen (1894-1971)
4). Linnie Mae Allen (1896-1979)
5.) Clara Allen (1901-1949) *twin
6). William Clarence Allen (1901-1973) *twin
7). Eunice Allen (1904-1968)
8). Emma Lois Allen (1906-1990)  **my great grandmother (I was able to meet her).
9). Sue Allen (1910-bef 1920)
10. Margie Allen (dates unknown)

From census records I've gathered that James Christopher Allen was a farmer and Claudie was the homemaker for her family.  She lived a very long life!
102 years is amazing.
She passed away in Butts County, Georgia 31 Aug 1971, 25 days after her 102nd birthday.  I imagine someone from that branch of the family has photos of her.  I don't know that side very well, but if any of you from that side read this, I'd love a scan of a photo of her and any of the Allen family that you all might have!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Seriously...WHO are her parents?

I'll get caught up with my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks later this week.  I'm behind a bit, but will be back on track by next week!  Right now I want to work on Lou Ella Ledbetter again!  This is one big ol' brick wall that just stares me down and refuses to budge.  

I came across this article by Anne Gillespie Mitchell, (Ask Ancestry Anne); Ask Ancestry Anne: 5 Tips for Researching the Females in Your Tree -   
I'm going to apply her recommendations to the elusive parents of Ella Ledbetter.
1. Search for her married name in other people’s obituaries.  
I did find this article; a long while ago.
2.  Look at other surnames in the household.

      I have searched The Atlanta Constitution at and have not found her listed in                       any obituaries other than her son, Samuel T. Bussey, Jr and her brother Eugene Ledbetter.

       Eugene's obit was just an announcement without any family information. 

      A. 28 July 1916  Friday,  "Charges Relatives with Scheme to Secure Savings"
      This article refers to Ella and a charge by Julia Lawrence that a group of Julie's relations were 
      conspiring against her to take her money.  I do not know exactly the relationship between Julia 
      and Ella.  Ella was living in the same household as Julia Lawrence in the 1880 census; with 
      Julia's mother Elizabeth Lawrence. 

     I got nothing for this search. I looked at all the census records that contained Ella, starting with
     1880 and the only name that came up was Lawrence in that 1880 census.  
     I can't search for her mother since I have found nothing with her information in it.  

3. Look at neighbors, especially right after the wedding. 
    Well, Ella was married in 1886, there is no census in 1890 to look at so nope, not going to help.   Can't         figure out if or where Ella's supposed mother Alice was married; this again doesn't help in this situation. 

4. Look through local and family histories.

    No luck in finding anything that refers to Ella Ledbetter or Elizabeth Lawrence or Alice Mull in any                 location as of yet.  I've contacted a supposed expert in the research of Ledbetter's and nodda.  

5. Check death certificates for all of a woman’s children to see if her maiden name is listed.  

    In this case, I only was able to find the supposed maiden name of Alice Mull by locating Ella's brother           Eugene's death certificate.  Ella's death certificate does not have the maiden name listed of her mother.  

  This article had actually really good tips.  If you are doing regular research these can be very helpful.  I'm just getting no where with my research since it is not normal.  We are dealing with a suspected orphan with no real information about her birth parents nor the actual relationship to the woman she is listed living with in 1880.  Just because she is listed as "grandmother" it does not mean she really was.