Saturday, December 29, 2012

Five Little Pendletons

I’ve come across so many great photos while decluttering my dad’s office. Here’s one of my siblings and me with our mom. It was probably taken Easter 1964 since Helen, the youngest was born in May 1963. She must be nearly a year old in this photo.

SCAN3011 Pendleton siblings cropped
From right to left according to order of birth: Me, Andy, John, Missy, and Helen with our mom in the background smiling at her brood.

It’s a wonder that our parents were able to get us to sit still long enough for a photo, much less sit together. I’m so glad that our dad loved to take photos. There are tons of them.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Past—A Family History Scrapbook

For Christmas 1984, my dad gave each of my siblings and me a scrapbook that he put together filled with family photos, copies of newspaper clippings and letters, playbills, cards we had given him and our mom, report cards (yikes), you-name-it. A lot of the photos in each scrapbook were geared toward the recipient but also included a few photos of the other siblings. He also put in photos of himself and our mom, our grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and our children. At the end of each scrapbook was a card with a special note from our dad. It’s one of the best presents I’ve ever received. Over the years, I would get my scrapbook out and pour over it, and I continued collecting memorabilia to add to mine.


SCAN2963 Catherine John Helen Missy Andy 1984 adjusted

Here we are Christmas day 1984 about to open our gifts—the wonderful scrapbooks that our dad made for us filled with family memorabilia. You can see how huge they were! From left to right: me, John, Helen, Missy, and Andy.


SCAN2964 John Helen Missy 1984 adjusted

John, Helen, and Missy looking through their scrapbooks.


SCAN2965 Helen 1984 adjusted

Helen looking through her scrapbook.


A page from Helen’s scrapbook with photographs of our mom when she was a kid.


Another page from Helen’s scrapbook. This has graduation photos of our parents and a newspaper article when they graduated from Valdosta State University in the early 1970s—our mom with a degree in nursing (she already had a degree in art) and our dad with a degree in English. Since Helen practiced ballet for 15 years, Dad also included photos of her and a playbill from her recitals.

When I moved to Alaska, I left my scrapbook behind with the intention of one day taking it back with me after one of my visits to Valdosta. Well, that never happened because it was too big to fit in my suitcase. I’m back in Valdosta now, and I look forward to getting my scrapbook out of storage to pour over again! What a wonderful way to preserve family history!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

William Henry Cone, Revolutionary War Soldier

William Henry Cone, my maternal 5th great grandfather, was one ancestor that I knew very little about. In fact, I didn’t know anything. That is, until recently when one of my newly-found cousins (via 23andme DNA testing) and I were searching our family trees trying to figure out how we were related. We found that our common ancestors were William Henry Cone and Keziah Barber. When my “new” cousin shared some information that he had about them, he got my curiosity going.
William Henry Cone was born in the mid to late 1740s. The memorial records his birth as October 27, 1749, in Martin County, North Carolina. Several of the Daughters of the American Revolution applications that I found on have his birth year as 1745 with the place name of Pee Dee River, North Carolina.  The Pee Dee River doesn’t flow through Martin County, so is this a place name in the applications? Folks Huxford says William was born in 1745 “in the Pee Dee section.”[1] There’s a Pee Dee, North Carolina, in Montgomery County. Could this be it? The Pee Dee River flows right by this county (see map below).


The map on the left shows the location of Pee Dee in Montgomery County in central North Carolina. The Pee Dee River forms the western boundary of this county. (This map is licensed under the Wikipedia Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Attribution: I, Ruhrfisch).

William’s father was also named William, and he, too, was a Revolutionary War soldier.[2]  [Note: Will Cone brought to my attention the Cone DNA Study by his father William G. Cone, Jr., Major retired GaARNG. William Henry Cone’s father could have been named William or Aaron. This DNA study has shown that the “Martin County” William Cone is not the same person as our “Pee Dee” William Henry Cone. Note: 8/3/17, the link to the Cone DNA study no longer worksThe son William married Keziah Barber in 1765 in North Carolina [3]. She was the daughter of William Barber, another Revolutionary War soldier. William and Keziah, along with Keziah’s sister Cassandra and brother-in-law Matthew Carter, moved to the Cheraw District in South Carolina in 1779. They then moved to the portion of Effingham County, Georgia, that was later used to form Bulloch County. In 1811, Cassandra Barber and her husband Matthew Carter moved to Jackson County, Mississippi, but William and Keziah Barber Cone remained in Georgia.[4]


The red balloon in the map to the left is within the 1780 boundaries of Effingham County, Georgia. The eastern border is the Savannah River. Map from Randy Majors’ Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps
According to a document on the Florida Society - Sons of the American Revolution, William was a Captain with the Richmond County Militia of Georgia during the Revolution. He and his men chased the Tories out of Georgia and back into Florida in 1781 [5]. Then William and his men were captured and held at Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida, but they escaped in 1783. For their service, they were given 200 acres of land on the Ogeechee River (it flows between the current borders of Effingham and Bulloch counties)[6]. The land William Cone was given for his service in the Revolutionary War was by “a special grant of Confiscated lands in Effingham County,” Georgia, recorded in Effingham County Deed Book A, page 1.[7]

William also had land on the Satilla River in what is now Camden County, Georgia, but at the time it was part of Glynn County.[8] He was a Representative from Effingham County in 1785 and 1787. He moved to his property on the Satilla River in the 1790s and lived there for a short time before moving back to his plantation, called Ivanhoe, in Effingham County. His Effingham County property became part of Bulloch County when the latter was created in 1796. He served as the foreman of the first Grand Jury, May Term, 1797, Superior Court.[9]


The red balloon on the map on the left sits in the 1780 boundaries of Glynn County. Camden County is to the south. Map from Randy Majors’ Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps

William sold his Bulloch County property in 1801 and returned to Glynn County.[10] He was a Representative from Glynn County in 1804, after which he moved to Camden County where he served as Justice of the Peace in 1806. He resigned in 1808 and was succeeded by his son William.[11] Keziah died while they were living in Camden County.[12] William moved back to Bulloch County between 1812 and 1816. He deeded his property to his son Aaron in 1816 and died that same year.[13] Folks Huxford discovered in the Camden County records that William had a second wife, Martha. He apparently filed for divorce in 1812, and the case was dismissed when William died in 1816.[14]

William and Keziah Barber Cone had nine children. Their daughter Sarah was my maternal fourth great grandmother. (Sarah married William Anderson Knight. Their daughter Sarah Knight married William P. Roberts and are my maternal 3rd great grandparents.) William Cone’s memorial on notes that he was known as the “Fighting Parson,” and he has a bridge named after him that goes across the Ogeechee River that runs between Bulloch and Effingham counties.

Wm Cone Bridge Google Earth close up
This Google Earth aerial shows the location of the Captain William Cone Bridge (indicated by the red balloon) on the Ogeechee River between Bulloch and Effingham counties in Georgia. (Click the aerial for a larger view.)

Wm Cone Bridge street view

Google Earth street view of the Captain William Cone Bridge across the Ogeechee River between Bulloch and Effingham counties in Georgia

William and Keziah Barber Cone are buried in the Old William Henry Cone Cemetery in Ivanhoe, Bulloch County, Georgia. My daughter graduated from college in Statesboro just to the northwest! If only I had realized how close I was to this cemetery when I helped her move there. I could have made a side trip to visit them. I’ve been to the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida, more than once, but I had no idea this is where one of my ancestors was held prisoner! I’ll have to go visit it again with this in mind. I’m glad I got to learn more about this ancestor!

[1] Folks Huxford. Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia, Volume II. (Published by the author, 1954. Second Printing, 1961).
[2] See footnote 1 above.
[3] Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 for William Cone and Keziah Barber [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.
[4] See footnote 1 above.
[5] Florida Society – Sons of the American Revolution. The Revolutionary War in Florida.” Electronic document,, accessed October 28, 2012.
[6] See footnote 4 above.
[7] See footnote 1 above.
[8] See footnote 1 above.
[9] See footnote 1 above.
[10] See footnote 1 above.
[11] Folks Huxford. Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia, Volume V. (Published by the author, 1967. Second Printing, 1970).
[12] See footnote 1 above.
[13] See footnote 11 above.
[14] See footnote 11 above.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friend of Friends Friday—Alfred Dunlap, Successful Freedman

I came across this interesting newspaper article about Alfred Dunlap, a successful Freedman in Thomas County, Georgia, while I was researching Moses Waddell Linton, whose son John Linton is the son-in-law of my maternal 3rd great grandparents Thomas Clarke Wyche (1801-1870) and Catharine Barry MacIntyre (1809-1864).

Alfred Dunlap was a slave of Moses Waddell Linton who became a successful farmer after emancipation.  I found this article via the Georgia Historic Newspapers: South Georgia website. It’s from the 16 October 1886 Thomasville Times. [1]

DjVu Document
Below is a transcription:
Alfred Dunlap, one of the most successful and trustworthy freedmen in the county, was the first man who ever ran a steam gin in Thomas county. He was then the property of the late Moses W. Linton, and the gin was put up on the old Linton plantation, now owned by the Messrs. McIntyre, in 1854. Alfred continued to run the gin till freedom, and since that time has been farming for himself. He now owns a good plantation of some five hundred acres, makes a plenty of everything, has a good credit, enjoys the esteem of his white friends and is gradually growing rich.
I found through searching the Georgia Historic Newspapers website for Thomas County, that Alfred’s wife was named Jennie and that he died sometime before August 1, 1900.[2] I found an “Alford” and Jennie Dunlap and their 11 children in the 1870 U.S. census for Boston, Thomas County, Georgia (see below).[3] His was a farmer, and he was born around 1814 in South Carolina. This is probably Alfred Dunlap.

1870UnitedStatesFederalCensus cropped1
1870UnitedStatesFederalCensus cropped2
Above is the 1870 U.S. Census Boston, Thomas County, Georgia,  for “Alford” and Jennie Dunlap. Click on image for a larger view. It’s hard to tell from this copy, but it looks like he had real estate worth over $400 and a personal estate worth $600 which is quite a bit more than what his neighbors had.

I wasn’t able to find the Dunlaps in the 1880 census or find out anything else about Alfred in the newspaper or on Jennie died sometime before March 4, 1912.[4]


[1] Thomasville Times, 16 October 1886, p. 3. Article about Alfred Dunlap. Presented online by the Digital Library of Georgia.
[2] Thomasville Times, 18 August 1900, p. 2. Legal notice for Jennie Dunlap widow of Alfred Dunlap. Presented online by the Digital Library of Georgia.
[3] 1870 U.S. census for Militia district 754, Thomas County, Georgia; Roll M593_177; Page 83A.
[4] Daily Times Enterprise, 4 March 1912, p. 3. Ordinarys Court. Legal notice about the estate of Jennie Dunlap. Presented online by the Digital Library of Georgia.

Monday, December 10, 2012

An 1866 Labor Contract Between Former Slave & Former Slave Owner

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been going through the paper piles in my dad’s office trying to get everything organized and filed. It’s been a monumental task, and over the past several years since he passed away in 2006, I was only able to do this once a year when I visited my mom.  I moved back to Valdosta a couple of months ago, and I’ve barely touched his office except to add more paper to it that my sister Helen and I have found in the studio that was originally his office before he moved into the other room. We’ve found lots of interesting things.

An 1866 Labor Contract

We came across what appears to be the original 1866 labor contract between our paternal second great grandfather Philip Coleman Pendleton and Lydia Mitchel, signed shortly after the end of the Civil War (click on the image for a larger view).

PCP and Lydia Mitchell contract Mar_01_1866 adjusted

It says:
Georgia Lowndes County
This agreement made this first day of March one thousand eight hundred and sixty six, between Lydia Mitchel servant, of the one part, and P C Pendleton of the other part, both of the county and state aforesaid: Witnesseth that the said Lydia Mitchel servant of the said P C Pendleton as cook, washer and ironer and covenants and agrees to and with the said P C Pendleton that she will faithfully, honestly, and diligently apply herself to perform the duties of cook, washer and ironer, and maid of all work about the household, and faithfully obey all the reasonable wishes and commands of the said P C Pendleton untill [sic] the first day of next January for the compensation of five dollars per month, payable quarterly, together with food and clothing for herself and child. [Inserted just above this last bit is “paid clothing to her three outfits(?) each.”] And the said P C Pendleton covenants with the said Lydia for the time aforesaid to pay her as per agreement above in quarterly installments.
Test[?] J A Pendleton
Lydia (her mark X) Mitchel
P C Pendleton
There’s a ghost image of some lettering on the bottom of the paper as if it was folded before the ink was dry. Written perpendicular along the left-hand side is “Valdosta Ga March [illegible] 1866 [illegible] Lowndes County Ga.” I assume that J. A. Pendleton is Philip’s son James Aubrey.

In my previous post, Slaves of Philip Coleman Pendleton, I noted that at the time of the 1860 Ware County Georgia Slave Schedule, Philip had three slaves: two adult females and one male child, and according to his son William’s memoirs, one of Philip’s slaves was named Violet and one was named Lizzie.[1] (The Pendletons moved to Valdosta, Georgia, during the Civil War.) Philip’s granddaughter Constance noted in Confederate Memoirs that Philip’s slaves “were mostly house servants” who stayed with the family after the war ended.[2] Was Lydia Mitchel a former slave of the Pendletons?

Labor Contracts and Wages During Reconstruction

According to the Freedmen’s Bureau Online, during Reconstruction, the agency supervised labor contracts between former slaves and their employers as to wages, clothing provisions, medical care, and share of crops (precursor to sharecropping). There are several examples of these labor contracts on their website. Some are for indentures. When my cousin Alan read the above contract, he converted what Lydia was paid into today’s money:
FIVE DOLLARS per month paid quarterly in 1866 is equivalent to $72.46 per month in today's dollars.  That's $869.52 per year plus room, board and clothing.  The "Official USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food at Home, U.S. Average, October 2012 for a child aged 6 - 8 years is 42.50 per week.  For a female 19 - 50 years is $45.60 per week.  The combined annual cost is $4581.20.[3]
Was this just another form of slavery? How was one expected to survive on so little? How does this compare to what a white servant was paid? Did this include a place to live? If not, how did Lydia pay for housing? In the 1870 U.S. census for Valdosta, there are no servants listed in the Pendleton household. I wasn’t able to find Lydia listed elsewhere in that census.

The Freedmen’s Bureau set a wage scale for Georgia in 1866 of $12 to $13 a month for male workers and $8 to $10 for female workers, plus employers were to provide them with food and a place to live.[4] These wages are higher (although, still a very low wage) than what Lydia was to receive. Workers on the coast and “in the fertile fields of southwest Georgia” had “slightly higher” wages than those of middle Georgia.[5] Did all employers adhere to the agency’s directives? I have a lot of questions and more research to do.

[1] Constance Pendleton, ed., Confederate Memoirs: Early Life and Family History, William Frederic Pendleton and Mary Lawson Young Pendleton. (Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania,1958).
[2] See footnote 1 above.
[3] Email from Alan Pendleton, 3 December 2012. Quoted with permission.
[4] Edward A. Hatfield.  Freedmen’s Bureau. New Georgia Encyclopedia, 2010.
[5] See footnote 4 above.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Youngs in Sunset Hill Cemetery, Valdosta, GA

A few weekends ago, my sister Helen and I went on the hunt for relatives in Sunset Hill Cemetery (in Valdosta, Georgia). As I noted in my previous post, I realized that I didn’t know where any other maternal Roberts relatives were buried except for those I visited on a regular basis. I also didn’t know where my maternal Young relatives were buried except for my great grandmother Catherine (Kate) Margaret Young (1855-1929), wife of John Taylor Roberts. I wanted to know where her parents and siblings are buried, so while my sister and I were at Sunset Hill Cemetery, we located some of the Young clan.  (Click on each photo for a larger view.)

John R YoungThis monument has YOUNG engraved on the side facing the main cemetery road. The two graves in the background are my maternal second great grandfather Remer Young (1826-1888) and his second wife Sarah Frances Goldwire (1838-1907). His first wife, Mary Barry Wyche (1827-1861), was my second great grandmother. My Pendleton/Young cousin Alan referred me to a website that notes that Mary is buried in the Wyche family cemetery on Millpond Plantation in Thomas County, Georgia.

The side of the monument facing forward in the photograph says: “John R. Young, April 7, 1856. Nov. 18, 1906. He was devoted to duty and the good of others.” He was the youngest son of Remer Young and Mary Barry Wyche (see below). Unless otherwise noted, these graves are in Section A205 Block 21 of Sunset Hill Cemetery.

Close-up of the engraving on my maternal second great grandfather’s gravestone. It simply says “Remer Young.” The side of the marker facing his grave in the above photo reads: “Remer Young, April 5, 1825, April 21, 1888. An honest man is the noblest work of God.”

Sarah Frances Goldwire2Close-up of my great grandfather Remer’s second wife’s gravestone.  It reads: “Sarah Frances Goldwire, wife of Remer Young, Nov. 19, 1838, June 10, 1907. God thought to give the sweetest thing, In his almighty power, and deeply pondering, What it should be—one hour, In fondest joy and love of heart, Outweighing every other, He moved the gates of heaven apart and gave to earth—a mother.”

Mitchell and Burton YoungBuried next to Remer Young and Sarah Frances Goldwire are the graves of their two young sons. The headstone on the left reads: “Mitchell J. son of R. & F. Young, died, Feb. 20, 1870. Age 2 years.” The headstone on the right reads: “Burton son of R. & F. Young died Feb. 15, 1874. Age 1 year 2 mo.”

Henry Michael Young1This is the grave of Henry Michael Young, the second son of Remer Young and Mary Barry Wyche. His gravestone reads: “Henry Michael Young, Mar. 21, 1850 – Apr. 11, 1914.” Next to Henry is his wife Mary Ulmer (see below).

Mary Ulmer Young1This is the grave of Henry Michael Young’s wife, Mary Ulmer. Her gravestone reads: “Mary Ulmer Young. Nov. 12, 1853-May 30, 1918.”

John Remer Young1This is the gravestone of John Remer Young (see the transcription for him on the monument noted above), the youngest son of Remer Young and Mary Barry Wyche. It reads: “John Remer Young.” According to The Young Family of Georgia, John was a bachelor.[1]

James King Young1This is the grave of James King Young, the oldest son of Remer Young and Sarah Frances Goldwire. It reads:  “James King Young, Apr. 11 1866-Oct. 30, 1926.”  According to The Young Family of Georgia, James was a bachelor.[2]

Jeremiah Jones plotRemer and Mary’s oldest daughter Susannah (Sudie) Elizabeth Young is buried with her husband Jeremiah Berry Jones in Section C302, Block 2 in Sunset Hill Cemetery (that’s the cemetery office building in the background). The large marker in the middle of the plot says “Jones.” Their gravestones are to the right of the marker (see photos below).

Susannah Elizabeth YoungThis is the grave of Susannah Elizabeth Young on the Jones plot in the above photo. Her headstone reads: “Sudie Young wife of J. B. Jones, 1848-1929.”

Jeremiah JonesThis is the headstone of Susannah’s husband Jeremiah Berry Jones in the Jones plot in the above photo. It reads: “Jerry B. Jones, 1844-1919.”

Catherine Young RobertsThis is the grave of my maternal great grandmother Catherine (Kate) Margaret Young, the youngest daughter of Remer Young and Mary Barry Wyche. Her headstone reads: “Kate Young Roberts, Jan. 25, 1855, June 24, 1929.” She’s buried with her husband John Taylor Roberts and eight of their nine children in Section E110, Block 7 of Sunset Hill Cemetery.

Remer and Mary’s oldest child was Thomas Wyche Young (1847-1870). I haven’t located his grave, and he’s not listed in the Sunset Hill Cemetery online interactive map. He may be buried in the family cemetery on Millpond Plantation in Thomas County, Georgia. Mary Lawson Young (1851-1938), the second oldest daughter of Remer and Mary, is buried in the Bryn Athyn Cemetery in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, with her husband William Frederic Pendleton (my paternal great grandfather’s brother). See for her memorial. Her gravestone reads: “Mary Lawson Young, wife of W.F. Pendleton, September 27, 1851, December 31, 1938.” The third oldest daughter of Remer and Mary, Sarah Hannah Young (b. 1853), is probably buried in Phoenix, Arizona. She was married to Henry C. Peeples in 1880.[3] He died in 1905 in Valdosta, Georgia, and is buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery (see his grave below).[4]  Hannah (the name she went by) was living with their daughter Allene Peeples Stine in Phoenix, Arizona, by the 1920 census and died in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 17, 1936.[5, 6]

Henry Camp Peeples2The grave of Sarah Hannah Young’s husband Henry Camp Peeples. It reads “Henry Camp Peeples, Nov. 21, 1852, Mar. 20, 1905.” He’s buried in Section C302, Block 2 in Sunset Hill Cemetery.

Remer Young and Sarah Frances Goldwire had two daughters, Coma Young (b. 1876) and America (Mec) Remer Young (1884-1974). Coma Young married first William Brosius Fender (see below). Her second husband was William Lawrence Manning Austin.[7] He died on February 23, 1931, and is buried in Simpsonville, Greenville County, South Carolina. (See his memorial on

William B Fender2The grave of William Brosius Fender, Coma Young’s first husband. His headstone reads: “William Brosius Fender, Sept. 3, 1875, Dec. 20, 1920.” He’s buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery in Section B219, Block 21.

I haven’t found a death record for Coma, but some family trees on give her death as 1957 in New York. Her son William B. Fender was living in New York by the 1940 census, so it’s possible she moved to New York to live with her son after the death of her second husband and died there.[8] America (Mec) Young married James Waddy Austin on November 2, 1908, in the home of her sister and brother-in-law Coma Young and William B. Fender in Valdosta, Georgia.[9] Mec and James lived in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia. Mec died there on 14 April 1974.[10] She may be buried in Atlanta, but I haven’t found her burial place yet.

Looking for the graves and burial places of my Roberts and Young relatives has offered me the opportunity to learn more about them than I knew before, which was actually next to nothing, except for my great grandparents John Taylor Roberts and Catherine (Kate) Margaret Young. I already knew a bit about Kate’s sister Lawson Young because she married my paternal great uncle and provided me with some double cousins (my Pendleton/Young cousins). My dad stayed in touch with a few of them over the years, and now I’m in touch with some of those double cousins of my own generation.

The next thing I’d like to do is visit Millpond Plantation in Thomas County to find the graves of Mary Barry Wyche and Thomas Wyche Young. Road trip!



[1] A. C. Felton. The Young Family of Georgia. Macon, Georgia: Self published, 1953.

[2] See footnote 1.

[3] 1900 U.S. Census, South Bend, Fulton, Georgia.  Page 5A.

[4] Macon Telegraph. Mr. H. C. Peeples Dead at Valdosta. Macon, Georgia, 21 March 1905. Accessed November 25, 2012,

[5]  1920 U.S. Census, Phoenix, Maricopa, Arizona. Page 12B.

[6] "Arizona, Deaths, 1870-1951," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 Nov 2012), Hannah Y. Peeples, 1936.

[7] U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.

[8] 1940 U.S. Census, New York, New York. Page 1A.

[9] “The Young-Austin Wedding: Brilliant Nuptials to a Charming Valdosta Girl and Atlanta Man.” Valdosta Daily Times. 3 November 1908. Georgia Historic Newspapers: South Georgia, accessed 27 November, 2012.

[10] Georgia Deaths, 1919-98 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2001, accessed 29 November 2012.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Roberts Relatives in Sunset Hill Cemetery, Valdosta—Update

A couple of weekends ago, I spent some more time wandering around Sunset Hill Cemetery in Valdosta, Georgia, looking for more relatives. This time, I “dragged” my sister Helen along (I don’t think she minded, though). After posting the photographs of my maternal great grandfather John Taylor (J.T.) Roberts and who I think are his brothers and father, I realized that I didn’t know where any of J.T.’s brothers, sisters, or his parents are buried. (Here’s my post about J.T.’s grave) One of my favorite things to do is to wander the cemetery. I know you genealogists, family historians, graveyard rabbits, and just-plain-interested-in-cemeteries kind of folks understand. Below are a few of the photographs that I took of some of the graves of my Roberts clan in Sunset Hill.

William and Margaret DeVane RobertsThese are the graves of my maternal 2nd great grandparents William Roberts (1828-1903) and Margaret DeVane (1826-1882), parents of John Taylor Roberts (my maternal great grandfather). They’re buried in Section A204, Block 22, Lot 2, Sunset Hill Cemetery, Valdosta, Georgia. The left side of the marker reads: “William Roberts, Aug. 27, 1828, July 24, 1903.” The right side reads: “Margaret, wife of Wm. Roberts, Sept. 29, 1826, Aug. 18, 1893, None know thee but to love thee.”

Edwin & Anna Pricilla Roberts DavisThe grave of William and Margaret’s eldest daughter Priscilla Ann Roberts is on the same lot. Her grave is on the right and her  husband Edwin Perry Davis is buried on the left.  Their grave marker in the middle reads: “Edwin P. Davis, Apr 20, 1840, Dec 7, 1898, His Wife, Ann P. Davis, May 9, 1847, Oct 10, 1920.”

Willaimm P Roberts1Also on the same lot as William and Margaret is their second oldest son (my great grandfather J.T. Roberts was their oldest son) William Patrick Roberts. His headstone reads: “William P. Roberts, May 3, 1855, Oct 22, 1922.” I don’t know if William was married. There is no wife buried next to him, and I haven’t researched his marital status.

Ben Hill and Tommie RobertsThe grave of William and Margaret’s third son Benjamin Hill Roberts is on the left and his wife Helen (Tommie) Harrell is on the right (Section B218, Block 2). Their gravestones read: “Benjamin Hill Roberts, Oct. 7, 1858, June 20, 1936,” and “Tommie, Wife of, B. H. Roberts, Dec. 29, 1873, May 25, 1906.”

IMG_2838William and Margaret’s youngest son was Francis DeVane Roberts. He is buried in Section C201, Block 6 with his wife Lillian Irene Jones and their eldest daughter. His headstone reads: “Frank Roberts 1860-1915.” His wife’s: “Lillie Jones Roberts 1870-1942.” Their daughter’s: “Lily Belle Roberts 1890-1989.”

The two youngest children of William and Margaret were Martha (Mattie) Leona Roberts and Margaret Beulah Roberts. They were married to the same man, but not at the same time, of course (click on Mattie’s name for my previous post). They are buried with their husband Colquitt Strickland between them in Section C313, Block 13 in Sunset Hill.

IMG_2846 Mattie Roberts StricklandThis is the grave of Martha (Mattie) Leona Roberts. The back of her headstone reads: “Mattie Leona, Wife of, C. Strickland, Jany. 17, 1864, Aug. 10, 1900.” I didn’t transcribe the saying engraved at the bottom of the back side.

IMG_2855 Beulah Roberts StricklandThis is the grave of Margaret Beulah Roberts. It reads: “Beulah Roberts Strickland, May 12, 1867, Apr 23, 1946.”

William and Margaret’s second child, Rebecca Jane Roberts, died shortly after her birth in 1849. She’s probably buried in Berrien County, Georgia, where they were living at the time, which was actually once part of Lowndes County.  Their third daughter, Elizabeth Roberts (1853-1936), may also be buried in Berrien County or in what is now Cook County. She and her husband James Taylor Giddens were living in Berrien County as of the 1900 U.S. census, and by the 1910 census, she’s listed as a widow in Sparks, Berrien County, Georgia.[1,2] In the 1920 census, the county for Sparks is listed as Cook instead of Berrien.[3] Cook County was formed from Berrien County in 1918, so apparently this included Sparks.[4] **

Next, the Youngs in Sunset Hill.


**Update: My first cousin Charlie found Elizabeth Roberts and James Taylor Giddens listed on in Sparks (click on their names to go to their memorials). I could have sworn I checked this website, as it’s one of my “go to” places, but apparently I didn’t! Thank goodness for cousins who check behind me!


[1] 1900 U.S. census, for James and Elizabeth Giddens, Militia District 1487, Berrien Georgia, Page 13B.

[2] 1910 U.S. census for Elizabeth Giddens, Sparks, Berrien, Georgia, Page 12A.

[3] 1920 U.S. census for Elizabeth Giddens, Sparks, Berrien, Georgia, Page 12A.

[4] “Cook County” in New Georgia Encyclopedia. ttp://

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Watching the Sun Go Down at Ocean Pond

Ocean Pond at Lake Park, Georgia, in south Lowndes County was one of my dad’s favorite places. I even wrote a post about it a while back.  I found a few photographs at my mom’s of him doing one of his favorite things—watching the sun go down at Ocean Pond.  I’m not sure when these photographs were taken but possibly in the 80s or early 90s.





Albert Pendleton, Jr. (my dad) watching the sun go down at Ocean Pond, Lake Park, Georgia.




How serene!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day—Remembering those who served

My dad was a private during World War II and served with the 80th Infantry Division, 317 Battalion, Company I in France.  As I wrote in a previous post [A Wounded World War II Vet: Pfc. Albert S. Pendleton, Jr. (1925-2006)], he didn’t talk much about the war.  He was seriously wounded in France and spent a long time in the hospital recovering.  He had a constant reminder of the war in the pain he endured the rest of his life because of his wounds. I’ve learned more about his experiences in the war from his writings than I ever learned from him directly.  His brother William Frederick Pendleton and his sister Frances Hoyt Thomas (later McLaughlin) both served in the military during World War II.


Bert cropped resizedMy dad, Pfc. Albert S. Pendleton, Jr.  This photograph was taken at his parents’ home on Slater Street in Valdosta, Georgia. 

Billy Frances Albert2 adjusted
William Frederick Pendleton (my Uncle Billy), Frances Hoyt Thomas (later McLaughlin, my Aunt Frances), and Albert S. Pendleton, Jr. (my dad).

Here is one of the poems that my dad wrote about the war.

Losses: The Return

I came home to you in Atlantis spring
With heart and soul and bladder brimmed
Of everlasting French rain,
And a memory of claustrophobic earth tombs.
My abode is here because St. Lo disappeared from its stone.
Omaha Beach that summer was not for relaxing tourists.
Now the trek homeward…I see whole buildings
As I glide along
And a dream of a dream of what is left of me
And my quickening heart,
Reborn, but not renewed,
What of tomorrow, my young man…What? Tomorrow?
…all I know is I must lose my elephantine memory…
…only to find my candlelit face
In glassy window panes
Reflecting the dream of me
And what I used to be…
Albert Pendleton
July 1978
As you can see from the date, when he wrote this poem the war was still very much a part of him.


Monday, November 5, 2012

J. T. Roberts Family Photo ID—Request for Help

This past March when I was visiting Valdosta (before I moved), I scanned all of the family photos that were in my grandmother Leona Roberts Redles’ desk at my mom’s house. Included was a small box/envelope with the unlabeled photographs below. I’m hoping that some Roberts relatives can help me identify these men. I’m pretty sure the man wearing the hat is my great grandfather John Taylor Roberts (1850-1920). Isn’t he handsome?! I recognize that icy, blue-eyed stare from other known photographs of him, but I’d like to know for sure. John had three brothers, William Patrick (1855-1922), Benjamin Hill (1857-1936), and Francis DeVane (1860-1915). Their father was also named William (1828-1903), and their mother was Margaret DeVane (1826-1882).  These five men would account for the five photographs.

SCAN0862 croppedSince the photographs were in this box/enveloped addressed to J. T. Roberts, I assume these are photographs of him, his brothers, and their father. The back of the box says “D. J. Ryan’s” “Art Gallery” “Savannah, GA”

SCAN0857 croppedI believe this photo is of my great grandfather, John Taylor (J. T. as he was commonly called) Roberts. This is the only tintype in the box. Love his “I’m handsome and I know it” countenance!

SCAN0859 croppedPossibly one of my great grandfather J. T. Roberts’s brothers. The back of the photo says “Ryan” “Savannah, GA”

SCAN0855 croppedAnother brother of J. T. Roberts? The back of this photo says “Brown’s Gallery” “Thomasville, GA”

SCAN0861 croppedThere isn’t anything on the back of this photo to indicate where it was taken.  This man looks very much like William Patrick Roberts whose photograph is in DeVanes 1798-1975, although the photograph in the book was taken when William was older.

SCAN0858 croppedCould this photograph be of their father William Roberts? He looks older than the men in the other photos, but since I don’t know when any of the photographs were taken, this is just a guess.  There is also nothing on the back of this photo about the photographer.

After William Roberts and Margaret DeVane were married, they lived in the part of Lowndes County, Georgia, that later became Berrian County, and that is where their children were born.  Later, several of the Roberts clan moved to Valdosta, Georgia. Any help with the identification of these men in the photographs would be much appreciated!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Rest of the Journey, Part 2—Alaska to Georgia

(For my previous posts about our travels from Alaska to Georgia, see Wagon Ho! Anchorage to Tok, Traveling the Alaska Highway, More About Traveling the Alaska Highway, and The Rest of the Journey, Part 1—Alaska to Georgia.)

Instead of traveling further south to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where our original route would have taken us, and then northeast to Yellowstone National Park, we went straight to Yellowstone from Butte, Montana. We entered the park from the north entrance under the Roosevelt arch. I couldn’t believe that I was finally visiting Yellowstone! I’ve wanted to go there since I was a kid but never thought I’d ever get to!


We spent the day driving through the park. Our first stop was the visitor’s center, and then we slowly made our way to Old Faithful, stopping several times along the way. The photo above is of the tavertine terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs in the park. Fascinating!

When we got to Old Faithful, the sign in the information center said it might blow at 3-something which was in about an hour, so we stuck around. Sure enough, it did. Almost right on time! After leaving Old Faithful behind, we continued on the park road, heading to the east entrance and Cody, Wyoming, for our ninth night on the road. I was enthralled with Wyoming’s topography. On the way from Cody to Rapid City, South Dakota, we went through Granite Pass, Wyoming. We stopped a “few” times so I could take some photos.

IMG_2713 Granit Pass WY

Granite Pass, Wyoming. I love geology!

Our tenth night was spent in Rapid City, South Dakota, near Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. My aunt spotted a scenic route on the map that went through the Black Hills National Forest, so we decided to take it. We went ahead and visited Mount Rushmore before heading to our hotel even though it was late in the day. We went back to Mount Rushmore the next morning to photograph it in the morning sunlight, and we visited the Crazy Horse Memorial.

IMG_2748 Mt Rushmore

Here is Mount Rushmore with presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. We stood in awe of this memorial and took several minutes to commune with the presidents. It’s an awesome sight to behold. It’s hard to get a sense of just how large this memorial is until you see how tiny the trees look in comparison. The memorial took 14 years to build and is unfinished.



Another awesome site is the Crazy Horse Memorial. The photograph at the left is how it looked when we visited. The photograph below is the sculpture of how it will look when it’s finished. Work on the memorial has been ongoing for several decades. It was officially begun by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear on June 3, 1948. Korczak died in 1982, but his family has continued to work on the memorial.


Sculpture of how the Crazy Horse Memorial will look when finished.

Our 11th night was spent in Sioux City, Iowa. Here’s where I made the second miscalculation as far as time. We spent more time at the Crazy Horse Memorial and Mount Rushmore that morning than I anticipated. We also lost an hour when we crossed into Central Time Zone. We realized that we might not make it to Sioux City before dark, and I don’t like driving at night because of night blindness. I tried to cancel our hotel reservations so we could stop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, instead, but the hotel wouldn’t since it was after 4 pm! I decided to go for it and push on to Sioux City. What a mistake! The night was inky black on the highway. When we got to town, traffic had been rerouted because of road construction. I had no idea where I was going. Once again, like the drive to Butte, Montana, in the dark, I was a nervous wreak when we got to the hotel.

Next stop, St. Louis, Missouri, where we spent our 12th night. Oh, the traffic! Good Lord. I was beginning to miss the traffic in Anchorage. Since we were so close to the Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville, Illinois, that I learned about in anthropology class years ago, I decided they were a “must see.” So, on our way to Nashville, Tennessee, which was our next stop, we detoured to see the mounds. Silly me, I left the memory card to my camera in my lap top which was in the car, so I had to use my cell phone to take photos (too lazy to walk back to the car). They aren’t the best quality.



Monks Mound at Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville, Illinois. You can climb stairs to the top and see the St. Louis arch in the distance.

Well, our 12th night wasn’t actually spent in Nashville. We spent it in Mt. Juliet east of Nashville. We didn’t do any sight-seeing (we did pass by the Grand Ole Opry). I think by this point (really, by St. Louis), we were tired and ready to just get this over with. At least I was, and I wanted to get on over to Asheville, North Carolina, to see my daughter and grandchildren. On the way to Asheville, we drove through the Great Smokey Mountains. How beautiful! This is another place that I’ve longed to visit.


The Great Smokey Mountains.

When we got to Asheville, I called my daughter and said, “Come get us. I’m hungry and tired, and I’m not driving any more today.” It was a delight to see her and my grandchildren again. We spent two nights in Asheville (our 13th and 14th nights). The next day after our arrival, we all went to tour Biltmore House, and then of course, the winery and creamery.


Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina, home of the Vanderbilts.

On October 7, 2012, we said goodbye to my daughter and grandchildren and started out on our last day of travel—Day 15. I thought if I had to spend one more day on the road that I would scream! We stopped to see Rock Eagle just north of Eatonton, Georgia, in Putnam County (which happens to be where my paternal 2nd great grandfather Philip Coleman Pendleton was born). I remembered this effigy from when I was a kid and wanted to see it again.


Rock Eagle is near what was once a prehistoric trail, Okfuskee Trail, parts of which are now the Piedmont Scenic Byway (Georgia Highway 16). Not much is known about the effigy. No artifacts have been found that could help date it. One estimate is that it is 2,000 years old.

We finally arrived in Valdosta, Georgia, at 5:15 pm on October 7, 2012, after leaving Anchorage, Alaska, on September 22, 2012. We dove 5, 576.7 miles and passed through three Canadian provinces (Yukon Territory, British Columbia, and Alberta) and 12 states (Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia—I feel like I forgot one). What a great adventure! But not one that I want to repeat any time soon.

It’s so good to finally be back home!