Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Katie & May Pendleton

While doing some research at the local library earlier this year, I came across the obituary of the nine-month-old infant daughter of my paternal great, great uncle and aunt Charles Rittenhouse Pendleton and Sarah (Sally) Peeples in the July 2, 1881, issue of the Valdosta Times transcribed in Wayne and Judy Dasher's Wiregrass Obituaries and Death Notices.[1] (I looked in the microfilm copy of the newspaper for that date but must have overlooked it.) Her obituary was written by her father, who was the editor and publisher of the newspaper, as his initials are at the end:

"Our little darling is gone. Budded on earth she will bloom and bear fruit in the garden above. 'Those little garments no more she'll need - Lay them all away - She's gone up the golden ladder - Into the eternal day.' C.P."[2]

What a beautiful tribute! When I looked for Katie's grave on the Sunset Hill Cemetery interactive map, I found Baby May who is buried next to her. I wondered who May belonged to. The closest graves of any Pendletons are to the east and across a cemetery road---those of their grandparents Philip Coleman Pendleton and Catharine Tebeau. Katie's and May's graves seem to be all alone. The cemetery website has May's last name as Pendleton. Several family trees on ancestry.com list a daughter of Charles and Sally named Mary with the same death date as May. I searched for an obituary for May but didn't find one.

Katie Pendleton's headstone
Katie's headstone says:

"Our Darling
Infant daughter
of C. R. and S. P.
Born Sept 12, 1880
Died June 25, 1881"

May Pendleton's headstone
On May's headstone shown above is this brief, poignant engraving:

 "Baby May, 
May 29, 1882, 
Came - Went"

The headstones of May (on the left) and Katie (on the right) Pendleton at Sunset Hill Cemetery, Valdosta, GA

Katie's headstone and May's headstone on findagrave.com were much more legible a year ago than they are now and when I took my photos this past May.

How sad to lose one's first two children! Charles and Sally's third child, Charles Rittenhouse, was born on May 15, 1883, almost a year after May's death. He survived into adulthood, and so did the rest of their children Luelle, Philola, Edmund, Carita, Vida, Louis, and Zera.


[1] Wayne and Judy Dasher. Wiregrass Obituaries and Death Notices Volume 1, The South Georgia Times - April 29, 1868 to September 29, 1869; The Valdosta Times - May 15, 1875 to December 26, 1885. Privately published, 1998. Repository South Georgia Regional Library, Valdosta, Georgia.

[2] See footnote 1 above.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Killed at the Battle of Chickamauga

I mentioned in my previous post, Tombstone Tuesday - The Knights at Burnt Church, that my sister and I went to the cemetery at Union Primitive Baptist Church (Burnt Church) in Lakeland, Georgia, to visit the graves of our maternal fourth great grandparents William Anderson and Sarah Cone Knight. While we were there, we found the graves of several other members of the Knight family. The grave of Barzilla S. Knight, their grandson, particularly caught my eye:

Headstone of Barzilla S. Knight at the Union Primitive Baptist Church cemetery in Lakeland, Georgia
This is inscribed on the back of his headstone: "In Memory Killed-Battle of Chickamauga" (see below)

The back of the headstone of Barzilla S. Knight at the Union Primitive Baptist Church cemetery in Lakeland, Georgia
Born in 1836 in Ware County, Georgia, Barzilla was the son of Jonathan W. and Frances Staten Knight and nephew of my maternal third great grandmother Sarah Knight Roberts.  He enlisted as a Corporal in the 29th Georgia Infantry, Company K of the Confederate Army in 1861.

1861 Civil War muster roll record of Barzilla Knight
The 29th Infantry was organized at Big Shanty, Georgia, the year Barzilla enlisted. Companies A and G were in the Savannah area and handled the heavy artillery.  The other companies were at Charleston.

In May 1862, Barzilla was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant:

Card File record of Barzilla Knight's promotion to 2nd Lieutenant

Barzilla's muster rolls note where he was and when:  on Sapelo Island in November 1861; Caustons Bluff in May, June, and July 1862; sick and on furlough "near Savannah," August through September 1862;  sick at Camp Young in November 1862; and sick at Camp Clingmans (?) December 1862.  On December 23, 1862, he signed a requisition for 45 blankets.  On February 25, 1863, he signed a requisition for 13 blankets, and on August 21, he signed a requisition for 9 jackets, 21 pairs of pants, 8 cotton shirts, 6 pairs of drawers, and 16 pairs of shoes.

In September 1863, the 29th Regiment was consolidated with the 30th Regiment and which then joined the Army of Tennessee campaign.   The battle of Chickamauga began at sunrise the morning of September 19. Barzilla died that day, the first day of the battle.

Google Earth aerial of the location of the Battle of Chickamauga in north Georgia

Card File Record of Barzilla Knight's death in the battle of Chickamauga on September 19, 1863.
A map on the Civil War Trust website shows the positions of both Union and Confederate troops during the morning of September 19, and there are links to maps of the afternoon fighting on that day and on the following day, September 20.

Total casualties of this battle were estimated at over 34,000 soldiers.  That's hard to fathom.  That's more than half of the population of the town I live in.

Sources used:

National Park Service, Civil War, Confederate Georgia Troops, 29th Regiment, Georgia Infantry (http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-regiments-detail.htm?regiment_id=CGA0029RI : accessed November 21, 2013)

Compiled Service Records, Barzilla Knight, Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia. Carded Records, compiled 1903-1927, documenting the period 1861-1865. Record Group 109.  National Archives, Washington, D.C. Images.  Fold3 (http://www.fold3.com/ : accessed  23 October 2013).

Civil War Trust, Saving America's Battlefields.  (http://www.civilwar.org/ : accessed 23 October 2013).

The Battle of Chickamauga.  Civil War Trust, Saving America's Battlefields.  (http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/chickamauga.html?tab=facts : accessed 21 November 2013).

Monday, December 2, 2013

Two Husbands for Isabella

While researching for the book that I'm writing about my maternal grandfather William (Will) Liming Redles, I searched for a marriage record for his parents, G. Albert Redles and Isabella Liming, to confirm when they were married.  According to the 1900 census, they had been married for 31 years, which would put the year at about 1869.[1]  I wasn't sure if they had gotten married in Philadelphia (where they lived for many years), in Wilmington, Delaware (where they were living in 1870), or in Mt. Holly, New Jersey (where Will was born in 1873).  (Click on each image below for a larger view.)

The 1900 Burlington County, New Jersey, census for G. Albert and Isabella Redles (dwelling 54) showing that they had been married for 31 years at the time of this census.

I found a Delaware marriage index record on ancestry.com for Rev. G. Alfred Redles and Isabella Sheppard who were married on June 7, 1869.  I thought these names were too much of a coincidence. Since this looks like it's an index record, I thought it possible that the original record was handwritten and was misread, and that "Alfred" should have been typed as "Albert." Or maybe the indexer mistakenly used the first name of the clergyman who performed the ceremony, Alfred Lee.[2]

1869 Delaware marriage record index for G. Alfred Redles and Isabella Sheppard

Both the G. Alfred in the marriage record and Will's father G. Albert were clergymen, and both married a woman named Isabella. G. Albert accepted the position of Assistant Minister of St. Andrews Church in Wilmington, Delaware, in June 1868.  Rev. Alfred Lee, who is noted as the clergyman for the marriage of G. Alfred Redles and Isabella Sheppard in the above record, was the rector of St. Andrews Church where G. Albert was the assistant minister. There is no G. Alfred Redles recorded in the journal of the Diocese of Delaware's convention held on June 2, 1869, just a few days before G. Alfred Redles and Isabella Sheppard were married.[3]

I went back to the census records. Enumerators for the 1910 census were instructed that if a person was married, "inquire whether they have been married before, and if this is the first marriage, write 'M1,' but if this is the second or subsequent marriage, write 'M2' (meaning married more than once)."  In the 1910 census, there is an M1 for G. Albert and M2 for Isabella under Column 8 for marital status. [4] I don't recall seeing this before!
The 1910 Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, census record for G. Albert and Isabella Redles (dwelling 225) showing Isabella's marital status as M2 indicating her marriage to G. Albert wasn't her first marriage.
On familysearch.org, I found a marriage record for Isabella Liming of Philadelphia and Joseph K. Sheppard of Salem, New Jersey, married on March 4, 1862.  There is a death record on familysearch.org for a Joseph K. Sheppard who died in June 1865 of heart disease at the age of 28.  His obituary on genealogybank.com notes that the funeral will be at the home of his mother Ann in Salem, New Jersey. There is no mention of a wife.[5]

Marriage record for Isabella Liming and Joseph K. Sheppard, March 4, 1862, from familysearch.org.
However, I think that I'm on the right track. My great grandmother Isabella Liming was married twice, and I believe that her first husband was Joseph K. Sheppard. I would like to find more evidence, like a marriage record for Isabella and Joseph that lists her parents William and Anna!



[1]  1900 U. S. census, Burlington County, New Jersey, population schedule, Beverly, p. 3, dwelling 54, family 55, G. A. Redles, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 November 2013), citing NARA microfilm publication T632.

[2]  Delaware Marriage Records, 1744-1912, Rev. G. Alfred Redles and Isabella Sheppard, June 07,1869, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 November 2013), citing Delaware Public Archives, RG 1325, Subgroup 003, series 004, Volume 82, page 247.

[3]  Journal of the Proceedings of the Seventy-ninth Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Diocese of Delaware held in Christ Church, Delaware City, On Wednesday, June 2D, 1869.  H. & E. F. James, Wilmington, Delaware, 1869, 15, 25.

[4]  Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of the Census, Thirteenth Census of the United States April 15, 1910.  Instructions to Enumerators: Including supplemental Instructions for the Collection of the Statistics of Manufactures and of Mines and Quarries.  Washington: Government Printing Office, 1910, 29; 1910 U.S. census, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Philadelphia, p. 10A, dwelling 225, family George A. Redles, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 November 2013), citing NARA microfilm publication T624.

[5]  "New Jersey, County Marriages, 1682-1956," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-9880-30953-46?cc=1803976&wc=MMVF-D4W:1105263986 : accessed 01 Dec 2013), 004541227 > image 741 of 847;  "Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VK8R-PSL : accessed 01 Dec 2013), Joseph K. Sheppard, 1865; "Died."  Obituary for Joseph K. Sheppard.  Public Ledger, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 30 June 1865, 2, digital image, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : accessed 30 November 2013).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - The Knights at Burnt Church

On a very hot, sunny Sunday afternoon in May, my sister Helen and I went to find the graves of our maternal fourth great grandparents William Anderson and Sarah Cone Knight in the Union Primitive Baptist Church cemetery (otherwise known as Burnt Church) in Lakeland, Lanier County, Georgia. This was exciting! I've never seen the graves of anyone previous to those of our second great grandparents. (Click on each photo for a larger view.) 

Google Earth aerial of the Union Primitive Baptist Church and cemetery (also known as Burnt Church) in Lakeland, Georgia

The headstone of my maternal 4th great grandfather William Anderson Knight at Union Primitive Baptist Church (Burnt Church), Lakeland, Lanier County, Georgia
The inscription on William's headstone says: "Sacred to the memory of William A. Knight, who was born February the 8th, 1778, and died December the 8th, 1859."

The headstone of my maternal 4th great grandmother Sarah Cone Knight at Union Primitive Baptist Church (Burnt Church), Lakeland, Lanier County, Georgia

Sarah's headstone says: "Sacred to the memory of Sarah Knight, who was born February the 16th, 1780, and died November the 28th, 1859."

The Knights first settled in Wayne County, Georgia, where William severed as representative, Justice of the Peace, and Justice of Wayne Inferior Court for several years. In the mid-1820s, they moved to what is now Lanier County but was then Irwin and later part of Lowndes County. He served as the first senator of Lowndes County from 1826 to 1828. The Knights were charter members of Union Primitive Baptist Church, the first Primitive Baptist Church in Lowndes County, which is where they are buried. William was ordained as a minister in 1832 and helped establish several churches within a 100 mile-wide area. In 1850, after the death of Pastor Matthew Albritton, William became the pastor of Union Primitive Baptist Church.  He also served as the first pastor of Wayfare Church from 1841-1854 and 1856-1858, located in what is now Echols County, Georgia.*  (Helen and I also visited Wayfare that same Sunday, because my son was told that we had some relatives there, too.)

Curiously, the inscriptions on William and Sarah's headstones are on the back. Nothing is written on the front. (See below.) I'd not seen this done before. I've seen headstones with inscriptions on both sides, but not just engraved on the back.

The headstones and footstones of William Anderson and Sarah Cone Knight at Union Primitive Baptist Church (Burnt Church) in Lakeland, Lanier County, Georgia. No inscriptions are on the front of the headstones.
I was surprised to find that our third great parents are in this cemetery as well---William and Sarah's daughter Sarah and her husband William P. Roberts.  Sarah and William Roberts aren't buried together. When I saw Sarah Knight Roberts' headstone near her parents, I thought her husband William had to be there somewhere. I found him about 50 feet away to the east.

The gravestone of my maternal third great grandmother Sarah Knight Roberts at Union Primitive Baptist Church (Burnt Church) in Lakeland, Lanier County, Georgia.

Sarah Knight Roberts' gravestone says: "Sacred to the memory of Sarah Roberts who was born Oct. 10th 1809 and departed this life Jan. 21st 1880"

The gravestone of my maternal third great grandfather William P. Roberts at Union Primitive Baptist Church in Lakeland, Lanier County, Georgia
William P. Roberts' gravestone says: "Sacred to the memory of William P. Roberts who was born ...ted this life Dec. 2nd 1852"

There are graves of other members of the Knight family in this cemetery. As soon as I figure out how they connect to my branch, I'll post them.


*Folks Huxford, Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia, Volume I. Cooper Press Inc., Jacksonville, Florida, 1966, 160-161.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Roberts Family Circa 1900

While going through my dad's papers, I found this great photograph of my maternal 2nd great grandfather William Roberts with some of his grandchildren (the children of his son John Taylor Roberts and Catherine Young) taken about 1900 in the front yard of the J. T. Roberts house on Wells Street in Valdosta, Georgia. (We call it the Big House. It's now owned by the Valdosta Heritage Foundation who is restoring it a second time after a devastating fire.)

My maternal 2nd great grandfather William Roberts with the children of his son John Taylor Roberts and Catherine Young in the front yard of the J. T. Roberts house in Valdosta, Georgia

Starting on the back row, from left to right: William Leland (Big Bubber), Maie Dell, the nurse holding Mary Remer (Dinah), Stella, and Kathleen (for whom I named my daughter). On the front row, left to right: John Young (Little Bubber), Margaret, William (my 2nd great grandfather), Edwina (Midge), and Leona (my grandmother). I love that Uncle John Young is all dressed up sans socks and shoes.

I shared a photograph of these children all grown up in my post Wordless Wednesday: Brothers and Sisters. They're also in the photograph behind my blog title, but you can go to my post The J. T. Roberts Family--A Group Photo ca. 1936 to see who's who.

Finding this photograph was a wonderful surprise!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Nearly Wordless Wednesday - The New House, 1958

I continue to find family treasures while going through my dad's papers. Here are a couple of photographs I found of my parents' house where I grew up and where my mom still lives.  These were taken in 1958, probably just before or just after the house was completed.  We moved from a two bedroom/one bath house to this three bedroom/two bath house because my mother was expecting her 3rd child, my brother John.  She's standing in the back yard in the second photograph.

This is the front of my childhood home in Valdosta, Georgia, in 1958.

My mother standing in the back yard of our home in Valdosta, Georgia, in 1958. 

In 1963, just before the birth of their 5th child (my sister Helen), my parents added a whole other wing to the house (two more bedrooms, another bath, and a studio for arts and crafts and writing) making the house into the shape of a "J."  While going through my dad's stuff, I found the drawing for the 1963 addition.  It seems strange to see the house as it was so long ago.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday - Family History Handwritten on a Church Brochure

I would have to say that the entire collection of correspondence, military records, miscellaneous papers, and ephemera that belonged to my maternal grandparents William Liming Redles and Leona Roberts is a treasure trove. There is so much to be learned about their lives tucked away in them. In addition, my mom has two large three-ring binders filled with family history, copies of photographs I had not seen before, current correspondence between my Aunt Catherine and several Redles and Rodelsperger cousins (here in the U.S. and in Germany), and more. I thumb through them every now and then, and I always spot something I hadn't noticed before. (Click on each image for a larger view.)

I'd seen the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church brochure before in one of my passes through the binder, but the other day, I finally read what my grandfather had written in the margins. He wrote about his family's relationship to this historic church in Philadelphia and added some church history. He probably sent this to my grandmother when he was courting her in 1922-1923. I'm so glad he wrote this! I learned something new, and now I have more research to do. What fun!

The front page of the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church brochure.

On the left side of the front page of the brochure (above) he wrote: "Grandfather Redles [John Adam Redles Jr.] & family were members of this church. He was a vestryman of this church for about 40 years. Father [George Albert Redles] was babtised [sic] (by sprinkling) in this church and later he was confirmed. Grandfather's funeral services at this church were held when I was 7 years old. I attended [this church and] remember the services." On the right side of this page he wrote: "Graves of Grandfather Redles, Grandmother Redles & 3 of their children [he drew an arrow pointing to the location of the graves]. Great, great, great Grandfather Sandar of Sweeden [sic] the 2nd Sweedish [sic] pastor is also buried in the churchyard. Great, Grandfather von Redlesburg [Johann Adam Roedelsperger] is also buried here." Wow! This is full of information.

Page 2 of the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church brochure

Page 3 of the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church brochure
At the top of page 3, he wrote "The church is now kept up on account of its early history."  The bottom says, "The Sweedish [sic] families intermarried with the English colonists. Long before 1842 the congregation thru marriage became English and were largely Episcopalians & no longer Sweedish [sic] Lutherans."

The last page of the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church brochure

The top of the last page says, "Beautiful stained glass windows shed softly colored lights on the interior. This is the oldest Protestant church in the United States if you count from date of the block house." He has an arrow pointing to "grandfather's pew for his family & himself" and one arrow pointing to where he sat "I remember sitting here during Grandfather's funeral services. I was then 7 yrs old." On the bottom of the page he wrote, "The old church is kept in excellent order. The old families are gone but endowments largely keep it going."

Now, back to what he wrote on the front page of the brochure. We have since found out that the original Redles family name was not von Redlesburg. Rather, it was Roedelsperger (I've also seen it spelled Rodelsperger and Rodelsberger). At some point, our immigrant ancestor Johann Adam Roedelsperger changed his name to John Adam Redles.

The surname Sandar is a new one! I'd never heard that one before. I was very excited and thought "Oh, goody, this should break down a brick wall!" I immediately began researching. It was fairly easy to find on the Gloria Dei Church's website that the name of the second Swedish pastor of this church was Andreas (or Anders or Andrew) Sandel and not "Sandar" as my grandfather had written. I don't think he's buried at the church, but two of his young sons Peter and Andreas are buried there (see a photograph of their headstones here). I'll write more about my research into Andreas Sandel in a later post, but so far, I've not found a connection to my family.

All in all, you just never know where you'll find clues about your family history! Had I not taken the time to finally read what my grandfather had written on this church brochure, I would have missed these tidbits!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Nearly Wordless Wednesday - Restoring John and Kate's House

A couple of months ago I went by the home of my maternal great grandparents John Taylor Roberts and Catherine (Kate) Margaret Young mainly to just visit the house but to also see the rebuilding progress. A fire on January 30, 2011, gutted the interior and burned off the roof and attic.  The first photograph was taken of the entrance hall in 2008 before it was renovated by the Valdosta Heritage Foundation who is current owner and who is restoring/rebuilding the house as funds allow. The second photograph was taken in 2013 after rebuilding had begun "post fire."

The entrance hall in my maternal great grandparents', John Taylor Roberts and Catherine (Kate) Margaret Young, house in 2008, three years before the January 30, 2011, fire that gutted the interior.
Rebuilding progress of the entrance hall as of July 27, 2013. Don't worry. I didn't go inside. I took this through the plate glass window on the front door. 

For further reading about this great house that we call the Big House (aka the Roberts House and the Wisenbaker-Wells-Roberts House) see The Big House and After the Fire. The photo behind my blog title was taken of the Roberts descendants on the side porch on the south elevation of this house.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

John Adam Redles Becomes a U.S. Citizen

I'd like to commemorate my maternal 3rd great grandfather Johann Adam Roedelsperger* for becoming a U.S. citizen on this date, September 3, 1827, 186 years ago!

*Various spellings of his surname: Rodelsperger, Rodelsberger

Johann Adam boarded the Brig Maria in Bremen, Germany, and landed at Philadelphia on October 5, 1802, to start a new life (click on the images for a larger view).[1] He was just 21 years old and was a turner by trade (turning wood on a lathe).[2]

Header of the ship's manifest for the Brig Maria

Ship's manifest for the Brig Maria.  Arrow is pointing to my 3rd great grandfather "Adam Rodelsberger."

Customs declaration for the Brig Maria with date of arrival of October 5, 1802.

He declared an oath to become a U.S. citizen on October 9, 1823, 21 years after his arrival, and his petition was approved four years later, on September 3, 1827. By this time, he had changed the spelling of his surname to Redles, married Sarah (Sallie) Rulon, and had several children, one of whom is my 2nd great grandfather John Adam Redles.

Naturalization record for John Adam Redles sent to me by my cousin Ken Redles. This is a copy of the original.
Glad you came to America, Johann Adam Roedelsperger (aka John Adam Redles)!


[1] All images of the ship's manifest and Customs declaration are from familysearch.org.  "Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1882," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KC8G-JC7 : accessed 29 Aug 2013), Adam Rodelsberger, 1802.

[2]  Ralph Beaver Strassburger, LL.D. Pennsylvania German Pioneers: A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals In the Port of Philadelphia From 1727 to 1808.  Edited by William John Hinke, PhD., D.D., Second Printing, Volume II, 1785-1808 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1966), 116-117.

Friday, August 23, 2013

A 1920s Fashionably Dressed Woman

I must get my attention to detail from my maternal grandfather William Liming Redles.  I've been told it's my greatest strength and my greatest weakness.  My grandfather seemed to pay attention to every little thing! Even women's fashion. In some of the letters he wrote to my grandmother Leona Roberts after they were married, he suggests what clothes she should wear for traveling and visiting, right down to the color and fabric.  He even named several items of clothing that he knew she had. After they were married and while he was on Marine duty in Washington, D.C., he would occasionally send fabric, gloves, dresses, stockings, shoes, and hats to her in Valdosta, Georgia, when she on was on extended visits with her family. 

In a letter dated May 27, 1922, that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother before they were married, I found this newspaper clipping of a fashionably dressed woman.  They had just started corresponding with each other only a few months before. Was he keeping her up to date on the latest fashion in the big cities up north?

1920s newspaper clipping

I wonder what my grandmother thought about that dress! The shoes in the clipping made me think of a photograph of her sitting on the porch of her parents' house, probably taken in the 1920s. My grandfather mentions in a letter to her that his friend Warren Graham (who was married to my grandmother's sister Margaret) had given him a photograph of my grandmother sitting on the front porch. My mom and I wondered if it was this photograph.

Leona Roberts sitting on the front porch of her parents house at 206 Wells Street, Valdosta, Georgia, ca. 1920s

In a January 11, 1922, letter to my grandmother, her brother-in-law Warren Graham quotes at length from a letter that my grandfather wrote to him after seeing her photograph, "...that dress is neat and graceful...I think she is the prettiest girl in all the South...Please tell Miss Roberts to bring both pretty feet to Washington."  


The newspaper clipping, photograph of Leona Roberts, and letter from Warren Graham are from the personal collection of Leona Redles Pendleton, Valdosta, Georgia.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Military Monday - The Dreaded Telegram

My dad was drafted in 1943 and was an Army private during World War II. He was sent to Fort Gruber in Oklahoma for basic training before shipping out overseas. I wrote about some of his experiences in a previous post, A Wounded World War II Vet: Pfc Albert S. Pendleton, Jr.(1925-2006). While going through his papers after his death, I found the letters that he wrote to his family during the war. I also found the dreaded "regret to inform you" telegram that no one wants to receive during a war:

Telegram addressed to my grandmother Helen Brown Thomas Pendleton, dated November 29, 1944, to inform her that my dad had been seriously wounded.

I vaguely remember being told that my grandfather is the one who first got the news and had to go home and tell my grandmother. The envelope that contained the telegram has the family's home address written on it, but it also says "care A. S. Pendleton Co." which was the family business where my grandfather worked.  

This is the envelope the telegram was in. The date written on the envelope is in my dad's handwriting. He must have added that later.

The last letter I have that my dad wrote to his family before he was wounded was written three days before he was wounded--on November 6, 1944.  It made me wonder if his family had to wait 23 days from that last letter before they heard anything from or about him. Then I came across some newspaper clippings in my dad's papers.  Apparently the telegram was the first news his parents received.  Someone has written "Thurs Nov 30 1944" at the top of an article, probably from the Valdosta Daily Times, that says his parents had just gotten the news on Wednesday that he'd been seriously wounded and was in the hospital. I can't imagine having to wait that long in war time to find out where your loved one is and what has happened! I imagine that my grandfather's hands shook and his heart pounded as he was handed the telegram.  I can almost feel the dread washing over him as he read the first words "Regret to inform you..." Then he had to drive home to break the news to my grandmother about their young son.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - The Parramores

I think I've made it my quest to photograph the graves of as many of my ancestors as I can find within a fairly short driving distance (for now).  Since I moved back to my home town last October, it's been nice to be able to visit the graves of the ones buried in Sunset Hill whenever I want to.  A few weeks ago, I searched out the Parramores. (Click on the images for a larger view.)

The Parramore plot, Section C-311, Sunset Hill Cemetery, Valdosta, Georgia

Noah Parramore and Susan Catherine Dasher are my paternal second great grandparents.  Their daughter Susan Parramore and Alexander Shaw Pendleton were my great grandparents.  

Noah Parramore, the husband of Susan Dasher.  He died on October 20, 1891.

Susan Catherine Dasher, the wife of Noah Parramore.  She died May 5, 1901.
Immediately to the left of Susan's grave is their son Herman D. Parramore who was murdered in Bradford, Florida, while being robbed on December 18, 1891 (see the December 19, 1891, issue of The Valdosta Daily Times).  He died just two months after his father.  He was working for my great grandfather Alexander Pendleton and was in Florida at the time to see some customers.

Herman D. Parramore, son of Noah and Susan Dasher Parramore

To the left of Herman's grave are two of Susan's sisters, Gertrude Dasher Paine and Georgia Dasher Smith:

Georgia Dasher Smith, the sister of Susan Dasher Parramore

Gertrude Dasher Paine, the sister of Susan Dasher Parramore.  My great grandmother Susan Parramore, daughter of Susan and Noah, named one of her daughters Gertrude. I wonder if it was for her Aunt Gertrude.
Immediately to the right of Noah Parramore is Susan's son Richard H. Howell from her first marriage to Richard H. Howell.  Son Richard was just 21 years old when he died.

Richard H. Howell, the son of Susan Dasher Parramore from her first marriage to Richard H. Howell. Their son died on November 4, 1875.

Next to Richard, on the right, is Susan and Noah's daughter Bessie.  She was only 19 years old when she died. My great grandmother Susan Parramore, Bessie's sister, called one of her daughters Bessie (short for Elizabeth).

The headstone of Bessie Parramore. It reads "Bessie Parramore, daughter of N. and S.C. Parramore, died Aug. 19, 1877, aged 19 years".  Unfortunately, this headstone has fallen off of its base.

In the forefront in the photograph of the Parramore plot (see above) are members of the John Parramore family.  John was another son of Noah and Susan Dasher Parramore and a brother of my great grandmother Susan Parramore.  The three slabs are Annie Parramore Blackburn (John's daughter), John Parramore, and Martha K. Parramore (John's wife).

Annie Parramore Blackburn, daughter of John and Martha K. Parramore.  She was born June 16, 1887, and died December 5, 1919.
John Parramore, son of Noah and Susan Dasher Parramore and brother of my great grandmother Susan Parramore.  He was born on January 9, 1856, and died October 2, 1918.

Martha K. Parramore, wife of John Parramore.  She was born September 6, 1856, and died on August 2, 1914.

The three standing headstones in front of Annie, John, and Martha Parramore are more of John and Martha's children.  The one furthest to the left is a double headstone for their young sons Frank and Herman.  The inscription is nearly illegible.  According to the Sunset Hill Cemetery interactive map, both of these boys died in 1900. I can just make out the number "4" in both of their inscriptions.  Did they die the same day?  Was it from an accident? I need to find out what happened.

Frank and Herman Parramore, sons of John and Martha K. Parramore.  Frank was born in 1888 and Herman in 1890.  It seems they died on the same day in 1900.

Next to young Frank and Herman, is their baby sister Susie who was only a few months old when she died.

Susie Parramore, baby daughter of John and Martha K. Parramore.  She was born on March 28, 1896, and died just a few months later in August.

On the other side of Susie is another young child of John and Martha's, Thompson Parramore. He must have been Susie's twin as he has the same birth date.  He died two years later in 1898.

Thompson Parramore, son of John and Martha K. Parramore and probably Susie's twin.

The Parramores certainly had their share of tragedy.  As I was writing this post and rereading the gravestones, I thought that I need to do some newspaper research to see if I can find out anything about some of these deaths! What happened to little Frank and Herman? Did John and daughter Annie die during the flu epidemic? I'd already run across an article about the murder of Herman D. Parramore in 1891 while I was researching the Pendletons in the Valdosta Times.

Over the years, my dad explained to me more than once that we were related to my Great Uncle Redden Parramore not just by marriage.  I could never remember how.  Uncle Redden was married to Dinah Roberts, one of my maternal grandmother Leona Roberts' sisters.  It wasn't until I started doing my own research that I finally got it! Noah and Susan were his grandparents!