Friday, December 30, 2011

Writing about Doc Holliday

I’m not exactly sure when my dad first became interested in John Henry Holliday, better known as Doc Holliday, friend of Wyatt Earp and participant in the gunfight at the O. K. Corral, but in his unpublished memoirs Growing Up South Georgian, Dad says it was 1972 when he thought about writing a Lowndes County Historical Society newsletter about Doc.  Doc has relatives in my hometown Valdosta, Georgia—my parents’ friend Susan (Susie) McKey Thomas is Doc’s cousin.  Doc’s mother Alice Jane McKey was the sister of Susie’s grandfather William H. McKey.

Doc Holliday book coverThe Book

After Dad approached Susie about writing a newsletter about Doc Holliday, they began researching.  After a while, they realized they had enough information for a short book which became In Search of the Hollidays: The Story of Doc Holliday and His Holliday and McKey Families [1].  (The copy to the left is the cover of the 2008 version with addendums.)  They self-published it under the name Little River Press in 1973.  I remember my dad spending what seemed like ages and ages researching the Holliday family.  He would talk about it constantly and would excitedly tell us about every new thing he and Susie discovered.  I have to admit that I engaged in a few eye-rolls back then  when he wasn’t looking (I was young and naïve).  I didn’t fully appreciate the work (and the obsessiveness!) that goes into researching family history and into writing a book like this until I started delving into my own family history and began thinking of writing a book about my maternal grandfather William Liming Redles (I’ve written all of one paragraph). 

In the foreword of their book, Dad and Susie write about the process of their research—some of the people they interviewed and corresponded with, documents they found, the difficulty sometimes in even finding information, and the effort taken in separating truth from fiction.  In the end, they still had some unanswered questions.  Their bibliography lists the records they used to tell the Holliday and McKey family stories which includes newspapers, court records, family papers, city directories, state and national archives, census records, correspondence, published historical collections, and nonfiction books about Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp.

The Hollidays in Valdosta

(The information below, unless otherwise noted, is from Pendleton and Thomas 2008 [2].) 
The son of Robert Holliday and Rebecca Burroughs, Henry Burroughs Holliday(Doc’s father) was born in Laurens County, South Carolina, in 1819.  The family later moved to Fayette County, Georgia.  After serving in the Mexican War, Henry Holliday adopted Francisco Hidalgo, a Mexican boy orphaned by the war, and brought him to Georgia to raise.  Shortly after returning to Georgia, Henry married Alice Jane McKey, the daughter of William Land McKey and Jane Cloud, on January 8, 1849, in Fayette County, Georgia [3].

Holliday 1850UnitedStatesFederalCensus

The above is the Holliday household in 1850 in Griffin, Spalding County, Georgia[4].  Henry, Alice Jane, and Martha Eleanora Holliday, and Francisco Hidalgo—Henry’s adopted son. (Doc’s sister Martha Eleanora died in infancy before Doc was born.)

Serving as a major in the Civil War, Henry Holliday received a medical discharge in 1862.  In 1864, he moved his wife Alice Jane and 13-year-old son John Henry (Doc) from Griffin, Georgia, to a farm north of Valdosta, Georgia, near Bemiss in Lowndes County.  Doc’s mother died two years later from tuberculosis when Doc was about 15 years old.  She is buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery in Valdosta.  Two months later, Major Holliday married Rachael Martin, the 23-year-old daughter of his neighbor.  Both the death of his mother and sudden remarriage of his father had a great affect on Doc.  After Major Holliday’s remarriage, the family moved into Valdosta to a house at 405 East Savannah Avenue.  Known locally as “the Doc Holliday house,” this house is still standing.  It was moved several years ago to a residential neighborhood off of Jerry Jones Road.  It was restored and added onto for use as a family home.  (A 1986 article in the Milwaukee Journal has some information about the house.)

Holliday 1870UnitedStatesFederalCensus

The above is the 1870 Lowndes County, Georgia, census: Henry, Rachel (Doc’s stepmother), and John (Doc) Holliday, and Lizie Traup (no mention in the census of Lizie’s relationship to the Hollidays) [5].

Major Holliday was a prominent citizen of Valdosta and something of a horticulturalist.  He served as mayor of Valdosta for several terms.  Doc attended the local school—the Valdosta Institute.  He graduated in 1872 from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery in Philadelphia and practiced dentistry in Valdosta and in Atlanta.  He headed out West around the end of 1872 or early 1873 for his health; like his mother, he had tuberculosis.  To use a cliché…The rest is history.

Holliday John 1880UnitedStatesFederalCensus

John Henry (Doc) Holliday is listed in the above 1880 census (“J. H. Holliday”) for Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona [6]. Note his occupation--“dentist.”

Doc Holliday died on November 8, 1887, in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, from tuberculosis.  He is buried there in Linwood Cemetery.  Major Holliday died a few years later in 1893.  Records indicate he is buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery, but the location has not been confirmed (burial records were lost in a fire).  He might be on the plot of his brother-in-law William D. Martin in a grave marked “C. S. A.”  A government marker was placed there a few years ago with the Martin family’s permission.


In his memoirs, Dad says that he and Susie never stopped researching Doc and never stopped selling copies of their book.  Over the years, my dad would read other books about Doc, and other authors would contact him and Susie for information.  We’d watch all the movies we could find (more than once) and discuss which ones we liked best.  Tombstone with Val Kilmer as Doc was my dad’s favorite of the movies (mine, too).  My mom bought and framed a Tombstone movie poster for him.  I liked it so much that I had to get one, too.  Dad sent Val Kilmer a copy of the book and was pleased to receive a “thank you” letter from him (even though he figured it was probably from Val’s agent).  Dad said it was the only response he received from anyone in the movie industry to whom he’d sent an unsolicited copy of the book. 

I’ll never forget this line from Tombstone that Val Kilmer’s Doc says to Johnny Ringo, “I’m your huckleberry” (warning: violence in the youtube clip).  I’d never heard that expression before, and after years of wondering, I finally looked it up.  Apparently it means something along the lines of “I’m the man for the job.”  Excuse me while I go watch Tombstone again.


An online article that my dad and Susie wrote about Doc Holliday:

For further reading online, see the Georgia Encyclopedia:  John Henry (Doc) Holliday (1851-1887).
[1] Albert S. Pendleton, Jr. and Susan McKey Thomas.  In Search of the Hollidays: The Story of Doc Holliday and His Holliday and McKey Families.  Line drawings by Earle Sinclair McKey, III (originally published by Little River Press, Valdosta, Georgia, 1973.  Reprinted by Lowndes County Historical Society, Valdosta, Georgia, 2008).
[2] See footnote 1 above.
[3] Dodd, Jordan. Georgia Marriages to 1850 Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1997.  Original data: Electronic transcription of marriage records held by the individual counties in Georgia.
[4] 1850 United States Federal Census.  District 68, Pike County, Georgia; Roll: M432_80; Page: 215B; Image: 442.
[5] 1870 United States Federal Census.  Valdosta, Lowndes, Georgia; roll: M593_163; Page: 318A; Image: 19; Family History Library Film: 545662.
[6] 1880 United States Federal Census.  Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona; Roll: 37; Family History Film: 1254037; Page 447D; Enumeration District: 026; Image: 0122.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday—Uncle Philo

Uncle Philo
Philip Coleman Pendleton, Jr. (1848-1870) my paternal second great uncle—Uncle Philo, one of several writers in his family.  He was the newspaper editor of The South Georgia Times (forerunner of The Valdosta Daily Times) after the death of his father. 


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday—Catherine (Tebeau) Pendleton

Gravestone Catherine Tebeau
Catharine S. M.
Wife of
Maj. P. C. Pendleton
May 28, 1822
May 12, 1889

This is the gravestone of my paternal second great grandmother, Catharine Sarah Melissa Tebeau Pendleton.  She was born in Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia.  Her parents were Frederick Edmund Tebeau (1792-1869) and Hulda Lewis (1796-1875).  She’s buried next to her husband in Sunset Hill Cemetery, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, Section C305, Block 5, Lot 2, Space 06.

Gravestones Pendleton plot
One of the Pendleton plots in Sunset Hill Cemetery, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, Section C305, Block 5, Lot 2.  Catharine S. M. Pendleton is on the right, her husband Philip C. Pendleton Sr. is in the middle, and one of their sons Philip (Philo) C. Pendleton Jr. is on the left.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to You & Yours!

My handmade Santa stocking.  My mom and my Aunt Catherine cross-stitched stockings for at least three generations of our family.  I think they stopped after that!



A beautiful cross-stitched angel made by my mom.


Thank you Helen for taking these photos!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday–Catherine Young Roberts

Kate Roberts holding Mama
My maternal great grandmother Catherine (Kate) Young Roberts holding my mother Leona Redles Pendleton.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Breaking News! Ruel Rulon Escapes from France!

[Warning, there might be sarcasm.]  Anonymous sources tell us that the Huguenot Ruel Rulon has escaped from France by hiding on board a ship in a hogshead (kind of like a wine barrel for those more familiar with such things).  Alleged accomplices are his two brothers (who are Catholic) who it is believed helped him escape.  If the Catholic Rulon brothers are found guilty of aiding and abetting the Huguenot Rulon, they will be dealt with!  Actions like this will not be tolerated!  The ship is believed to be heading for America, possibly New York.  If anyone has any information about this escapee-from-religious-persecution, please alert your local authorities!  Do not approach him yourselves.  A reward for information leading to his capture is being offered (but only if you are Catholic)!

The Rulons in America

Ruel Rulon, my maternal 7th great grandfather, was a Huguenot (Protestant) who left France sometime between 1684 and 1704 during the persecution of the Huguenots [1].  The above paragraph about his escape is based on family lore written about in The Rulon Family and Their Descendants by John C. Rulon [2].  (This book is free on Google Books.)  The story goes that Ruel’s brothers (who were Catholic) hid him in a hogshead and put him on board a ship bound for America so that he could escape the persecution.  Once he was a safe distance from France, he got out of the hogshead.  I wonder how he explained his sudden appearance on the ship if this story is true! 

It is thought that Ruel landed in New York [3].  He settled in Monmouth, New Jersey, at least by 1704 [4].  He is apparently mentioned in some documents from that year, and his son David, my maternal 6th great grandfather, was born around that time [5].  Several family trees (including mine) on list Ruel’s wife as Margaret Paulding.  I haven’t confirmed this. 

How I Connect to the Rulon Line

Rulon Family Tree reducedBelow is my descent from Ruel Rulon down to my mother.  The family tree on the left that I scanned from a copy of the original was drawn by my maternal grandfather William Liming Redles.  It begins with Ruel’s son David Rulon and includes the Redles line.  I haven’t confirmed all of the information below.  Some of it is from John C. Rulon’s book mentioned above and from the tree my grandfather drew. 
1. David Rulon (1704-1778), son of Ruel Rulon and Margaret Paulding, married Exercise Allen (1705-?), daughter of Henry and Hannah Allen. 
2. Henry Rulon (1732-18100), son of David Rulon and Exercise Allen, married Theodosa Robbins.
3. John Rulon (1758-1833), son of Henry Rulon and Theodosa Robbins, married Sarah Burt.
4. Sarah Sallie Rulon (1785-1851), daughter of John Rulon and Sarah Burt, married Johan Adam Rodelsperger/Redles (1781-1869).
5. John Adam Redles (1817-?), son of Sarah Sallie Rulon and Johan Adam Rodelsperger/Redles, married Jane Eliza Meyers (1818-1885).
6. George Albert Redles (1843-1912), son of John Adam Redles and Jane Eliza Meyers, married Isabella Liming (1844-?)
7. William Liming Redles (1873-1932), son of George Albert Redles and Isabella Liming, married Martha Leona Roberts (1895-1955).
8. Leona Roberts Redles (1925), daughter of William Liming Redles and Martha Leona Roberts, married Albert Sidney Pendleton, Jr. (1925-2006).

For a history of the French Huguenots see The National Huguenot Society

We’ll probably never know if  the above account of Ruel Rulon’s escape from France is truth or fiction, but it sure makes a good story. 

Any family legends in your family?  I’d love to hear about them!

[1] John C. Rulon.  The Rulon Family and Their Descendants.  (Lineaweaver & Wallace, Philadelphia, 1870).
[2] See footnote 1 above.
[3] Albert F. Koehler.  The Huguenots or Early French in New Jersey. (Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, reprinted 2007).
[4] See footnote 1 above.
[5] See footnotes 1 and 3 above.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Family Recipe Friday–Brownies

I got this brownie recipe from my mother years and years ago.  It’s a Roberts family recipe (on my maternal side of the family).  I’m not sure how far back it goes, either my mother’s generation or my grandmother Leona’s generation. I love this brownie recipe!  They’re so moist and chocolatey.  This recipe is so very easy.  Why buy a box mix?
Melt 1 stick of butter and 2 1-oz. unsweetened chocolate squares (I’ve also used unsweetened cocoa in place of the chocolate squares when I desperately wanted brownies but didn’t want to go to the store.  I always seem to have cocoa.  3 tablespoons cocoa + 1 tablespoon oil = 1 square.)
Beat 2 eggs
Add 1-1/2 cups sugar
Add melted butter and chocolate
Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
Add 1 cup flour
Add 1 cup nuts (Down South we use pecans.  I use walnuts or pecans…whatever I have on hand.)
Put in a greased pan; bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
I test for doneness with a toothpick or a knife.  I usually have to cook things a bit longer in my current oven.
I should have baked a batch for a photo opp (and for eating).  Trouble is, when I bake them, I eat them all up in two days (maybe three at the most). 

Try them!  They are sooooo good!  Oh dear, I think I’m going to have to bake a batch.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

The A. S. Pendleton Company

Alexander Shaw PendletonThe A. S. Pendleton Company was established by my paternal great grandfather Alexander (Andy) Shaw Pendleton in Valdosta, Georgia, in the mid-1870s.  I remember my dad telling me that the company started out as a fruit stand, and it eventually grew into a wholesale grocery business.  (I was also told that “The” is part of the company name…this is the reason I named my blog “The” Pendleton Genealogy Post.  And “Post” is an homage to my second great grandfather Philip Pendleton’s newspaper days.) 

As I mentioned before, my grandfather Albert S. Pendleton, Sr., served as the secretary and treasurer for the company.  Then after his father’s death in 1925, he became the first vice president; his older brother Philip became the president, and his younger brother Alexis became second vice president [1].  My grandfather later became the president, and my dad began working for him in 1947 [2]. 

Working at The A. S. Pendleton Company

SCAN0154Four generations worked at The A. S. Pendleton Company, including me when I was in high school.  I mentioned in an earlier post that my mom worked there, too.  By the time I began working there in the late 1960s, my dad was the president.  (My grandfather died in 1965.)  The company had moved to South Toombs in the former Valdosta Flour Company building south of the railroad tracks.  I started out working in the warehouse putting the tax stamp on cigarette packs and stocking the candy (yum…the candy, not the cigarettes).  At some point, I ended up in the office running the bookkeeping machine occasionally, waiting on walk-in customers (including at least one moonshiner), and taking in the money collected by the delivery men from some of the customers.  Somewhere along in there, my Uncle Jack May taught me how to use a 10-key calculator without looking at the keys.  I thought that was the coolest thing.  I used to hide out in the back office sometimes and eat Baby Ruth candy bars and drink grape or orange sodas.  I know I sometimes harp on how messy my dad’s home office is at my mom’s--well, it was just as messy (if not worse) at his office downtown.  He dared anyone to touch it.

A Great View of Santa Without Standing on my Tippy Toes

When I was a kid, we used to watch the Christmas parade from the office windows when the The A. S. Pendleton Company was on the corner of South Patterson Street and Crane Avenue in downtown Valdosta.  The building has since been torn down.  In this photo, I’m the blonde girl second from the left.  My oldest brother is on the far right.  With us are our neighbors the Stricklands and our cousins the Hart boys.  Look at how excited we were!

The End of a Family Business

The A. S. Pendleton Company closed down in the early 1970s.  I remember how bad my dad felt about it…the company that his grandfather started nearly 100 years earlier was closing under his watch.  The company just could not compete with the big chain grocery stores who could buy their groceries in large quantities directly from the factory and circumvent the middle man…the wholesaler.  Several of the small, locally-owned grocery stores that he “traded with,” as he called it, went out of business, too.  Such was the end of a family business that was nearly a century old.

Did your family have a family business? Please share in the comments.

[1] History of Lowndes County Georgia 1825-1941 (General James Jackson Chapter, D.A.R., Valdosta Georgia, Reprinted 1995).
[2] Albert S. Pendleton, Jr.  Growing Up South Georgian. (Unpublished memoir, n.d.).

Friday, December 2, 2011

U.S. Veterans Grave Locator

I came across the grave locator website of the Department of Veterans Affairs while perusing the Research Toolbox of the blog Ancestrally Challenged (there are other helpful websites listed there, too).  On the Veterans Affairs grave locator website, you can find burials for veterans and their family members who are in Veterans Administration National Cemeteries, state cemeteries for veterans, military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and in private cemeteries if the veteran has a government grave marker. However, they don’t have information for people buried in private cemeteries before 1997. (Please see the website for more information.)

My maternal grandfather William Redles is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, so of course his grave is listed. 

William L Redles grave cropped

This was the gravestone at my grandfather William Liming Redles’ grave in Arlington National Cemetery when I was there in the late 1980s or early 1990s.  It has since been replaced by a newer one.  See

My dad Albert Pendleton is buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery in Valdosta, Georgia.  He died in 2006 and has a government grave marker, so his location is listed as well:


My dad’s government grave marker in Sunset Hill Cemetery, Valdosta, Georgia.  (Photograph taken in September 2007.)

Below are screen shots of the grave locations of my grandfather and my dad from the Veterans grave locator website:


My maternal grandfather, William Liming Redles.  He appears twice, once with his middle initial and once with his middle name spelled out.


My father, Albert S. Pendleton, Jr.

I looked up a few more of my family members who fought in the Civil War or World War II, but I didn’t find a listing.  I think most of them are buried in private cemeteries and probably without government grave markers.  It was worth a try.  I’m bookmarking this grave locator website for future reference!