Friday, October 24, 2014

52 Weeks of Sharing Our Memories - Life Before the Present Technology

This post is part of the 52 Weeks of Writing our Memories by Lorine McGinnis Schulze at Olive Tree Genealogy who has challenged us to write our memories for our future generations.

The other day, when I read Joan Hall's post "Connected or Disconnected" about how 21st century technology has changed the way we interact with each other, I was reminded of how things were when I was a kid, and I thought about how different it is now.

I remember going to Oliver Brothers gas station on Patterson Street. When we'd pull up, one of the guys would pump the gas, wash the windshield, and check the oil. Then they'd hand my mom or dad the ticket to be signed and we'd take off on our way. The owner would send a monthly statement to our house. Now, I pump my gas, pay with plastic at the pump, and wash my windshield. The only time I've ever spoken to the attendant was when there was a problem with the pump or no receipt printed out, which is rare.

I remember shopping with my mom at Patterson-Jones Shoes, McCrory's 5 and 10 cents store, Southern Stationery, Belk-Hudson, and C. C. Varnedoe's downtown and at Playland toy store at Castle Park. I used to go with my dad to a small book store on Oak Street across from Dixie Cream Donut Shop's current location, but I've forgotten it's name. I loved going in there. It was small and cozy and it seemed to me that books were everywhere! I instantly felt like I belonged in there. The 1957 city directory gives the name Jet's Book Shop at this location. Today, I usually just order what I want online. (I actually hate shopping, but I miss going to the book store in person.)

C. C. Varnedoe's building on Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia, where my mom shopped for clothes and accessories. I loved sitting at the make-up counter and smelling the scents.
(Google Earth street view)

When I wanted to play with my friends, I'd either call them up on the phone or go to their house and knock on the door. Now, kids text or video chat. I do my own fair share of texting rather than calling or visiting.

When we went out to eat, it was usually just on Sundays after church. I don't remember doing this until I was a little older, probably after all five kids had been born. We went to Ashley Oaks Restaurant or Shoney's Big Boy Restaurant on Ashley Street. (To this day, the smell of fresh parsley reminds me of Ashley Oaks. They used it as a garnish.) Back then, no one sat around the table staring at their phone or tablet. Nor did my dad pick up a newspaper to read at the table! I consider this to be just as rude. It's like being told, "I don't want to talk to you."

I remember Bob Belcher's Drug Store, Barnes Drug Store, and Vinson's Drug Store. Those were the names of the pharmacists and all were locally owned. (We also used Brookwood Drugs.) Today, if you use a small pharmacy, you probably know the name of your pharmacist, but I have no idea who the pharmacist was at the big chain drug store my mom used until we switched her to a locally owned one that delivers. A lot of drug stores let you reorder prescriptions via an app on your phone. You don't even have to call to talk to anyone. While I like that convenience, it's just one more thing to remove you from human interaction.

Like Joan said in her post, banking was different, too. I remember going inside the bank with my mom for all transactions. We went to Citizens and Southern National Bank and First National Bank. I still have to make deposits at my bank in person, but I use the drive-through. Some banks allow you to just take a photo of a check with your phone and it's automatically deposited. Some of the places I've worked have direct deposit. If I want cash, I either get it from a store where I'm shopping when the machine asks "Cash Back" or I go to the ATM at the bank. I don't have to go inside the bank and endorse a check made out to "cash" in front of the teller. I can also check my balance, transfer money, and pay bills online. I've rarely gone inside a bank for anything in several years.

The former First National Bank, now the Wisenbaker Building, on Patterson Street,
Valdosta, Georgia. It's on the National Register of Historic Places 

as part of the Valdosta Commercial Historic District.
(Google Earth street view)

It seems like it wasn't all that long ago when we had full-service gas stations, shopped only in stores, and went inside the bank for every transaction. I wonder what it will be like in about 20 years. Or maybe even just five or 10 years from now. Technology changes so quickly. I'm sure if/when any of my descendants read this post about how things were and how they are now, they'll think "How quaint."

I'm going to be one of those grandparents and great grandparents who says, "Well, when I was a kid, we didn't have...."


Thursday, October 23, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - #42 Catherine Young

It dawned on me the other day that I've been remiss in writing about my maternal great grandmother Catherine (Kate) Margaret Young. I've mentioned her a few times, so I guess that made me think I'd written about her before.

Kate was born on January 25, 1855, to Remer Young and Mary Barry Wyche in Thomas County, Georgia. Her siblings were Thomas Wyche (1846-1870), Susannah Elizabeth (1848-1929), Henry Michael (1850-1914), Mary Lawson (1851-1938), Sarah Hannah (1853-1936), and John Remer (1856-1905).

Remer's uncle gave him a plantation in Mineola, Lowndes County, Georgia, (now a residential and business section in north Valdosta), so the family moved there. Kate was six years old when her mother Mary died. After Mary's death, Remer sent Kate and her siblings to live with their maternal grandparents Catharine MacIntyre and Thomas Clarke Wyche in Thomas County. The children stayed with them until their father remarried to Sarah Frances Goldwire in 1865. The children returned to the plantation in Mineola.[1] Kate's half siblings were James King (1866-1926), Mitchell Jones (1868-1870), Burton (1873-1884), Coma (1876-?), and America Remer (1884-1974).

The children of Remer Young and Mary Barry Wyche, April 4, 1888.
Back row: Hannah, Kate, and John Remer. Front row: Susannah, Henry, and Lawson

Kate married John Taylor Roberts on October 25, 1883, in Lowndes County.

Marriage record for John Taylor Roberts and Catherine (Kate) Margaret Young (from Georgia's Virtual Vault, Marriage Records from Microfilm, Lowndes County Marriage Book 1870-1890, page 73) 

An article in The Valdosta Times dated October 27, 1883, says they were married at 7:30 in the morning of October 25. Then the couple boarded the 10:00 a.m. train to attend the Louisville Exposition. From there they were probably going to visit Kate's sister in Chicago.[2] (This sister was Lawson Young who was married to my paternal great, great uncle William Frederic Pendleton. They lived in Chicago for a few years.)

The young couple first lived at 412 East Hill Avenue in Valdosta where possibly the first six of their nine children were born: William Leland (1884-1864), Kathleen Wyche (1886-1980), Maie Dell (1887-1976), John Young (1890-1953), Stella (1891-1968), Margaret (1893-1986), Leona (1895-1955, my grandmother), Edwina (1897-1969), Mary Remer (1900-1990).

412 East Hill Avenue, Valdosta, Georgia.
The fist house of Catherine Young and John Taylor Roberts.

John and Kate moved their large and growing family to their new home at 206 Wells Street after the property was deeded to John in 1894. This house is known in my family as "the Big House," but it is also known as the J. T. Roberts House or the Wisenbaker-Wells-Roberts House. The original part of the house was built in 1845 by William Wisenbaker. It's part of the Fairview Historic District.

The J. T. Roberts house at 206 Wells Street, Valdosta, Georgia. I took this photo in 2008.
It's now owned by the Valdosta Heritage Foundation. 

This house was continuously occupied by the Roberts family for nearly 100 years. My mother Leona and her sister Catherine also grew up here.

Education was very important in the Roberts household. All of the children went to college (except for Edwina), but not all of them graduated. Kate was the glue that held the family together. Her children knew they could always come back home. She would stretch out on the living room floor for a 15 minute nap and then be off and running again. She never knew how many people would show up for dinner because of the large size of the family, which included grandchildren and cousins. [3]

Catherine (Young) Roberts

John died on January 19, 1920, and Kate died nine years later on June 24, 1929. Both are buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery in Valdosta.

The grave of Catherine (Kate) Young Roberts, June 1929, Sunset Hill Cemetery, Valdosta, Georgia


This post is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge by genealogist Amy Crow at No Story Too Small.

[1] Constance Pendleton, ed., Confederate Memoirs: Early Life and Family History, William Frederic Pendleton and Mary Lawson Young Pendleton. (Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, 1958), 153-155, 160.

[2] Wayne and Judy Dasher. Wiregrass Weddings and Births, Volume 1, The Valdosta Times - April 10, 1875 to December 30, 1893; Berrien County Pioneer October 19, 1888 to March 20, 1891; The Tifton Gazette April 17, 1891 to December 22, 1893. Privately published, 2000. Repository South Georgia Regional Library, Valdosta, Georgia.

[3] Catherine Redles, interview by Catherine Pendleton, Valdosta, Georgia, 2 November 1997; Albert S. Pendleton, Jr., "The John T. Roberts Family," Lowndes County Historical Society Newsletter, V, no. 1:2-3, 1975.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

52 Weeks of Sharing Our Memories - Chasing Firefllies

This post is part of the 52 Weeks of Writing our Memories by Lorine McGinnis Schulze at Olive Tree Genealogy who has challenged us to write our memories for our future generations.

One of the things we loved to do as children was chase (and capture) fireflies, or lightening bugs as we sometimes called them, in the summer. There was something magical about being out in the quiet evening chasing the blinking lights. We'd put them in jars and poke holes in the lids for air. We'd sometimes put grass in the jars, too, thinking this would be good for them to eat.

 Fireflies in a jar by jamelah e.
Fireflies in a jar by jamelah e.
( Creative Commons)
I haven't seen fireflies in years, but then, I haven't been looking for them either. The mosquitoes usually drive me back inside in the evening before it gets dark. I wonder if fireflies are still out this time of year in south Georgia.


Monday, October 13, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - #41 Hannah Lawson

Hannah Lawson was my maternal 4th great grandmother. She was born on August 24, 1789, in Washington County, Georgia, to John Thompson Lawson and Alice Moore. She had at least three brothers: Andrew, Charles, and Roger. Her father John was a Colonel in the Georgia Militia during the Revolutionary War.

Hannah married Archibald MacIntyre in 1804 or 1805. Georgia Memoirs on notes that they were married in Jefferson County, Georgia. At some point, they moved to Twiggs County, Georgia where some of their children (if not all) were born. I haven't found a digital marriage record for them on Georgia's Virtual Vault.

Twiggs County, Georgia, as of 1807 (from
The children I have listed for them are Daniel, John L., Catharine Barry (b. 1809, my 3rd great grandmother), Hannah (b. 1819), Archibald Thompson (b. 1822), and Jane (b. about 1825). I've also seen Alice and Mary listed as children and "Mary Catherine" rather then "Catharine Barry" as I have her name.

Archibald participated in the war of 1812. (I haven't found a record of his service on In 1818, he was sent to southwest Georgia to survey some land. He liked what he saw, so in 1826, he sent some "hands" (probably some of his slaves) to prepare the land. In 1828, Hannah and Archibald moved their family to this farm in Thomas County, Georgia.

Thomas County, Georgia, as of 1825 (from
Archibald didn't live much longer after they moved to Thomas County. He died on February 10, 1830. Hannah died on October 9, 1842.

My descent from Hannah Lawson:

1. Hannah Lawson and Archibald MacIntyre
2. Catharine Barry MacIntyre and Thomas Clarke Wyche
3. Mary Barry Wyche and Remer Young
4. Catherine Margaret Young and John Taylor Roberts
5. Martha Leona Roberts and William Liming Redles
6. Leona Redles and Albert Pendleton Jr.
7. me


This post is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge by genealogist Amy Crow at No Story Too Small.


Mrs. Howard H. McCall. Roster of Revolutionary Soldiers in Georgia, Volume I (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 2004), 109. Georgia Memoirs, 2003. Original data: Memoirs of Georgia Vol. I-II, (The Southern Historical Association, Atlanta, 1895), 898.

William Harden. A History of Savannah and South Georgia, Vol. II (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1913), 828.

Friday, October 10, 2014

52 Weeks of Sharing Our Memories - "Daddy and his baby"

This post is part of the 52 Weeks of Writing our Memories by Lorine McGinnis Schulze at Olive Tree Genealogy who has challenged us to write our memories for our future generations.

I found my old baby photo album a while ago when cleaning out one of my mom's closets. I'm glad that my dad took so many photos of us growing up. I love looking at the photos of my siblings and me when we were kids. Brings back memories of carefree days when all I worried about was having to eat green peas and beets. Yuck! (I still hate beets.)

My baby album is full of photos that my dad took just after I was born and several months after. I love the caption he wrote for this photo:

He looks so young! He was 29 when I was born. He didn't realize what a handful I was going to be!

This photo was taken at our old house on Alden Avenue about a month and a half after I was born. We moved to the present house just before I turned four. My mom still has that lamp in the background and the wicker rocking chair that my dad is sitting in. That looks like her sewing table the lamp is sitting on. She still has it, too. We had those metal folding chairs for years. In fact, there's one currently in the back yard but it's missing its seat. I think it'll make a cute yard ornament!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. - #40 Sarah Burt

Sarah Burt is my maternal 4th great grandmother and another one of my ancestors about whom I know very little. She was the daughter of John Burt and Susannah Silver and the mother of Sarah (Sallie) Rulon. I accidentally skipped writing about Sarah Burt in my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks posts even though I wrote about her mother and her daughter.

I don't have birth or death dates for Sarah Burt. She married John Rulon on December 10, 1782, in Cumberland County, New Jersey.

New Jersey Marriages, 1684-1895 about Sarah Burt

Name:John Rulon
Spouse:Sarah Burt
Marriage Date:10 Dec 1782
The above is from

Cumberland County, New Jersey, as of 1780
(map from

The children I have listed for them are John, Deborah, Lydia, Mary, Theodosa, Sarah (my 3rd great grandmother), Henry, and Anna. They may have stayed in Cumberland County for several years. There is a John Rulon listed in the New Jersey compiled census records for the years 1802 and 1807 in Cumberland.

Before I wrote this post, I searched online on and but didn't find any new information about Sarah Burt. I wish there were more hours in the day!


This post is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge by genealogist Amy Crow at No Story Too Small.


52 Weeks of Sharing Our Memories - Halloween

This post is part of the 52 Weeks of Writing our Memories by Lorine McGinnis Schulze at Olive Tree Genealogy who has challenged us to write our memories for our future generations.

It's October; therefore, it's almost Halloween, so I thought I'd write a post about my costumes. Only, I don't remember most of them. I think one year I was a princess with a magic wand. Or maybe I was a fairy godmother. I think my costume was green and I wore a tall hat. 

I found these two photos when I was looking for something else (as usual).

This was taken in 1958 at the Roberts House (my maternal great grandparents' house---we call it The Big House). That's my brother Andy on the left. It looks like I'm wearing a clown outfit.

This photo was taken in 1959 at the Roberts House. That's me on the left. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be. Maybe a witch. I don't know who the other two children are but the little girl is probably my playmate from across the street. The kid on the right is either my brother Andy or my playmate's brother. (I wish I'd found this photo when I wrote about my saddle oxford shoes. I'm wearing a pair in this photo.)
I loved dressing up and going trick-or-treating. I trick-or-treated until I thought I was too old, sometime after 6th grade, but I remember taking my younger siblings to a few houses on our street when I was older.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

52 Weeks of Sharing Our Memories - Birthdays

This post is part of the 52 Weeks of Writing our Memories by Lorine McGinnis Schulze at Olive Tree Genealogy who has challenged us to write our memories for our future generations.

Since my birthday falls in October, I sometimes had a Halloween themed party when I was a kid.

My 5th birthday. That's me on the left, my grandmother Helen Brown Thomas Pendleton, my brother Andy on the right, our brother John sitting on the floor on the right looking up at his silly big sister, and our first cousin Charles Joyner on the left sitting in front of me.

Another photo of my 5th birthday with some of my friends. That's my brother Andy sitting next to me on the right and our mom is standing in the back. (Wow, look at my dirty socks! I must have been running around outside with no shoes on.)

The party I remember the most was the one for my sixth birthday. I had a bunch of friends from my first grade class and probably some neighborhood kids over for my party. It seems like there were kids everywhere. My mom hung apples on strings from the clothes line in our backyard and we had to try to bite them. That was fun! I think one of my friends lost a tooth in one of the apples.

Another memorable thing about my sixth birthday is it's when I got my first bicycle. It was a little too big for me at the time, but I grew into it eventually. When I got it, I already knew how to ride a bike. I'd been practicing with my friend's smaller bike. With her bike, I was able to learn how to balance, because I was able to easily put my feet on the ground if I felt like I was going to fall.

The first thing I did on my new bike was ride it down the driveway and fall into my dad's flower bed since I couldn't touch the ground when I took my feet off the pedals! It makes me laugh now thinking about it and the feeling of losing control that I had because I couldn't make the bike stop. I guess I'd forgotten that I could use the brakes. I was embarrassed when it happened because my dad was watching, and he was taking a photo! I looked for that photo, but it must be packed up with the rest of my old photos in my son's storage shed. One of these days I'll get them out (I've been saying that for several years now).