Tuesday, April 17, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Storms

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of April 16, 2018, is Storms.

I searched for the word “storm” on the online South Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive for my home town Valdosta, Georgia. I found a 1912 article about a “cyclone” that had come through Lowndes County, where Valdosta is the county seat. Most of the damage was in the Old Redland and Clyattville districts of Lowndes south of Valdosta.

From The Valdosta Times, March 26, 1912

The March 26, 1912, Valdosta Times article, “Cyclone Hit Lowndes Hard Sunday Early,” reports that John Wisenbaker’s home, about six miles south of Valdosta, was destroyed by the storm. His family had escaped to the smoke house. The nearby Wisenbaker and Carroll school was blown down. John Carroll was blown against a fence when he was caught in the storm, and Ben Belote’s coat was torn from his body when he tried to go to Mr. Carroll’s aid. Both men escaped with no serious injuries.

A tree was blown across the Rocky Ford bridge, in the Redland district, south of Valdosta, causing extensive damage. At C. L. Smith’s home near Rocky Ford, the wind blew his dining room from his house and blew the roof from his corn crib. 

Ben Southall was caught out in the storm while going for a doctor. The roof of his buggy was blown off and he was blown from the buggy. The buggy was hurled around to one side and nearly turned over. Mr. Southall was rather bruised up from the incident.

Further south in Lowndes County, near Lake Park, people in the clubhouse and even upstairs at the Ocean Pond Fishing Club were drenched with water when it rushed inside and up the stairs. 

It was estimated that the storm set the farmers back about three or four days with their crops. The storm leveled hundreds of trees and several miles of fences. There were no fatalities and no severe injuries from the storm. 

There wasn’t much wind in the city of Valdosta during the storm, but the torrential rain over-flooded the street drains, and the streets were “badly washed up.” 

These kinds of storms are pretty frightening! Thank goodness I've never been caught out in one.


Monday, April 16, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Taxes

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of April 9, 2018, is Taxes.

I had planned on writing about the property tax records for my second great grandfathers who lived in Lowndes County Georgia, but while I was searching these records, I came across lists of Freedmen and their employers. 

I spotted my maternal great grandfather Remer Young's name as an employer to several Freedmen.  I wrote about Remer and some of his former slaves in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - The Old Homestead. I recognized the name of one of his employees, William Johnson, whose photograph is in that blog post.

As I continued scrolling through, I found a record of the Freedmen who worked for J. R. Young. This might be John Remer Young, son of Remer. 

I couldn’t find an exact date for these records, even with scrolling backward and forward, looking at pages 1 and 726 (the last page of this digitized record) and pages in between. Since these two particular Freedmen records are near the end of the digitizations, they could be from 1877. Below are the transcriptions of the names of the Freedmen and a digital copy of the record. 

Employed by Remer Young on the former Mineola plantation in north Lowndes County, Club House District, Militia District 658:

H. Stafford
William Johnson
R. Darcy
J. Moore
Robert Moore
Abe Robberson
M. Butter
E. McKinnon

H. Stafford had stock animals worth $2 and household and kitchen furniture worth $5. William Johnson had stock animals worth $8 and household and kitchen furniture worth $5. There is no property noted for the other employees.

Freedmen working for Remer Young, possibly 1877, Lowndes County, Georgia, Clubhouse District, Militia District 658, from Georgia Property Tax Digests, 1793-1892, Lowndes 1871-1877. Digitized on ancestry.com

Employed by J. R. Young on land in south Lowndes County, Clyattville District, Militia District 662:

Ned Johnson Jr.
Jerry Slater
James McKinney
John Young

Ned Johnson, Jr., had stock animals worth $7 and household and kitchen furniture worth $5. James McKinney had property valued at a total of $158, very high compared to the other Freedmen employees: stock animals $120, household and kitchen furniture $10, plantation and mechanical tools $6, and other property $22.

Freedmen working for J. R. Young, possibly 1877. Lowndes County, Georgia, Clyattville District, Militia District 662, from Georgia Property Tax Digests, 1793-1892, Lowndes 1871-1877. Digitized on ancestry.com

As the above record for Remer Young indicates, at least one of his former slaves, William Johnson, worked for him after emancipation. William was Remer's former body servant. These Freedman tax records would be another way to research enslaved ancestors to find out who their former owners might have been. 


Monday, April 9, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, Maiden Aunt

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of April 2, 2018, is Maiden Aunt. I've already written about a few of my maiden aunts, so for this prompt I chose my maternal grandfather's sister, Helen Redles. 

I don't know much about Helen, except what I've read in the letters she wrote my grandfather, William. He relied on her a lot (and on his sister Isabelle) to take care of his business while he was overseas. 

Letter from Helen Redles to my mother after I was born

At one point, William and Helen had a rift over some possessions he'd left in Philadelphia while he was stationed elsewhere (he was a Marine). He accused her of taking his things and also some items their mother had promised him. I don't know what the outcome of all of this was. It's been a while since I read their letters, but I do remember that she pleaded innocent on both counts. 

The youngest of three, Helen Redles was born in Philadelphia on April 7, 1877, to Isabella Liming and George Albert Redles. She was the youngest sister of my maternal grandfather, William Liming Redles. Their other sister was Isabelle Redles. 

Helen Redles. No date on the photo.

Helen graduated from a girls’ high school in 1895; she’s listed among those of the class who were “especially distinguished” in a Philadelphia Inquirer article dated June 13, 1895. I’ve been told that Aunt Helen was an artist. In 1896, she graduated from the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, receiving a certificate in industrial drawing (Philadelphia Inquirer, 6 June 1896).

Helen fell deeply in love with a minister in the early 1910s who turned out to be a rogue. Her brother William had heard some talk about the man, and so he had interfered for the sake of his sister. And then Helen discovered that the man was also a two-timer. The relationship ended (from a paper Helen wrote that was sent to me by my Redles cousin). I can imagine her broken heart.

In the summer of 1912, Helen's mother Isabella fell ill and had to be hospitalized. During this same time, her father George Albert became sick and wasn't expected to live for much longer. Helen bounced between the hospital and her father's sick bed, "exhausted with grief and anxiety" (from Helen's paper). Her father died in November 1912, and her mother died four years later in 1916.

I’ve not been able to find Helen in the 1920 or 1930 census records. Some of the letters she wrote to my grandfather in the 1920s are from various places: Leavenworth, Kansas; Palmyra, New Jersey; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Several letters from 1930 and 1931 are from Palmyra, New Jersey.

Both of Helen’s siblings died in 1932: Isabelle on June 19th and William on August 29th. Now she was alone as far as immediate family. I wonder how that made her feel? Although, she did have nieces and nephews.

In a November 12, 1936, article in the Trenton Evening Times, Helen is listed as a faculty member at the annual convention of the New Jersey teachers association. In 1937, she signed a teaching contract with the Pemberton, New Jersey, Board of Education for a salary of $1,200 to be paid over ten months (a digital copy was sent to me by my Redles cousin). I believe she taught art. An article on the front page of the April 24, 1937, Trenton Evening Times, notes that Helen supervised a student art exhibit in the main hall of Pemberton High School for a parents/teachers meeting. In a January 12, 1940, article in the Trenton Evening Times, Helen is listed as the supervising teacher for art in the Make Up Day program at Pemberton High School.

According to the 1940 U.S. census for Burlington County, Pemberton, New Jersey, Helen was a lodger at the home of Jenny Woodington and had lived at the same address at least since 1935. Helen was still employed as a school teacher in 1940. By 1952, Helen was living in Chico, California; she's listed in the city directory for that city. It seems like my cousin told me she lived with them in California.

Helen died on May 5, 1962, at the age of 85. She’s buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Orland, California. I find it interesting that her death notice (transcribed on her findagrave memorial) only mentions her sister Isabelle’s children and says there are no other living relatives. Her brother William’s children, my mother Leona and her sister Catherine, were also Helen’s only living relatives! Well, besides all of the grand nieces and grand nephews.

I wish I could have seen some of Aunt Helen's art!


"High School Girls Receive Diplomas." Philadelphia Inquirer. June 13, 1895. Electronic copy, genealogybank.com, accessed April 4, 2018.

"Groezingers Will Act as Hosts to Teachers,” Trenton Evening Times, November 12, 1936, page 27. Electronic copy, genealogybank.com, accessed April 4, 2018.

"Pemberton Pupils Hosts to Parents." Trenton Evening Times, April 24, 1937, page 1.

"Pemberton High Opens Club Slate."  Trenton Evening Times, January 12, 1940, page 17. Electronic copy, genealogybank.com, accessed April 4, 2018.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - The Old Homestead

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of March 26, 2018, is The Old Homestead. I thought I’d write about the old plantation for this topic instead, because I’ve always wondered about the exact location of the land that belonged to my maternal 2nd great grandfather Remer Young, and I received some photos of some of  the people Remer owned before the Civil War.

Remer Young owned a plantation in north Lowndes County Georgia in an area called Mineola. According to a post on findagrave.com about the "Old Young Plantation" (author unknown), a portion of the land was originally part of the estate of Francis Rountree. In 1841, Michael Brady Jones bought Lots 36, 56, 82, and 83 in Land District 12 from Rountree’s estate. The following year, in 1842, Jones sold the land to Matthew Young. Young sold these lots plus two others (Lots 36, 56, 57, 81, 82, and 83) to Remer Young in 1857 (see the map below). By 1860, Remer had acquired more land, totaling 6,000 acres: Lots 36, 37, 56, 57, 81, 82, 83, 102, 103, 128, 129, and 149 (see map below). 

I don't have a citation for this map. I saw it at the South Georgia Regional Library in Valdosta laid out on a table in the genealogy room. There's no information on the map or date. I've marked the Remer Young property: yellow for the lots he bought in 1857, red for what he owned as of 1860.

The land includes a slave cemetery, noted in Church and Family Cemeteries in Lowndes County, Georgia 1825-2005 Part 2 as “Northwest of Valdosta: Approximately 1/2 mile northeast of junction of N. Valdosta Road and I-75, on what was formerly the ‘Young Plantation.’ No Markers.” The findagrave posting adds that the cemetery is about 300 yards northeast of the intersection of N. Valdosta Road and I-75 in a stand of trees, but sometime in the 2000s, the trees were cut down and a subdivision established. I wonder what happened to the cemetery?

The 1860 U.S. Slave Schedule for Lowndes County, Georgia, Districts 663 and 1200 (ancestry.com), shows that Remer Young had a total of 88 slaves in 17 “slave houses.” That's about five people per small cabin. The oldest person was 56 years old and the youngest was only two months.

In the winter of 1904 to 1905, my 2nd great aunt, Lawson Young Pendleton, came down to Valdosta from Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, to visit relatives in the Valdosta/Lowndes County area, including her sister Catherine Young Roberts (my maternal great grandmother). (Lawson and Catherine are two of Remer Young’s and Mary Wyche’s children.) Lawson brought three of her daughters, Amena, Constance, and Freda Pendleton. 

The day after Christmas in 1904, Freda and Constance visited the Young plantation in Mineola with their uncle John Young, who owned the property at the time. In Confederate Memoirs, Constance Pendleton (1958) describes the visit to Mineola:
The family house was gone, and the place was not being cultivated, but timber was being cut, and there was a sawmill, a small group of houses, and a commissary or store near the railroad station. The overseer’s old house was a little distance away, and the site of the family house at least a mile beyond…A number of old family servants [slaves], too old to work, were living on the place in small houses here and there, and were permitted to draw rations from the commissary, free of charge.
Constance and Freda met several of the people who had been owned by their grandfather, Remer Young: Judy, Easter Johnson, Mose (former foreman of the plantation), Emily Johnson (former dairy maid), William (Wilts) Johnson (Remer’s former body servant), and Nancy (who ran off to the circus after the Civil War but returned). 

Near the end of 2016, my Pendleton/Young cousins from Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, Erik Odhner and Alan Pendleton, began the laborious task of scanning old family photographs. These included some of the former Young plantation slaves taken during the 1904/1905 trip to Valdosta: 


Easter Johnson

Mose, Emily Johnson, and William (Wilts) Johnson

"Mineola hands" (former slaves)

I'm grateful to my Bryn Athyn Pendleton/Young cousins Erik and Alan for scanning and sharing these photographs (among others) and to Constance for writing about her visit to the former Young plantation. As much as I love maps, seeing photographs and reading written accounts bring the past to life, however painful. 



Clifton, Geraldine McLeod and Dorothy Peterson Neisen, Church and Family Cemeteries in Lowndes County, Georgia 1825-2005 Part 2. Reprinted 2007 by Genealogy Unlimited Society, Inc., Valdosta, Georgia. 

Constance Pendleton, ed., Confederate Memoirs: Early Life and Family History, William Frederic Pendleton and Mary Lawson Young Pendleton. (Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, 1958)

Friday, March 23, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Misfortune

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of March 19, 2018, is Misfortune.

As soon as I saw the prompt for this week, I knew who I wanted to write about--my maternal 9th great grandparents William Shattuck and Hannah (maiden name unknown). (They are on my mother's paternal Redles line.) I've been planning for a while to write a blog post about the religious persecution they experienced because they were Quakers in a country where people supposedly had religious freedom.

Two years ago, while researching one of my other maternal ancestors, I stumbled across an interesting story about William Shattuck of Boston (not to be confused with William Shattuck of Watertown). (I no longer remember where I first saw it, but I give my references below.) William was born in England sometime around the late 1610s or early 1620s and came to America about 1650. He was a shoemaker in Boston. In 1654, he married Hannah, and they had three daughters: Hannah (b. 1654), Exercise (b. 1656, my 8th great grandmother), and Elizabeth (b. 1658). 

In 1658, William was persecuted for being a Quaker and was imprisoned, whipped, and banished from Boston. Lemuel Shattuck, in Memorials of the Descendants of William Shattuck [William of Watertown], quotes an account by Joseph Besse (from Collections of the Sufferings of Quakers) about my William Shattuck of Boston (I've paraphrased some parts below):

Because William of Boston was “found on the first day of the week at home in the time of public worship,” he was sent to jail where he was whipped and put at hard labor. In the meantime, while he was in prison, Hannah and the children were suffering from want. Deputy Governor Bellingham was “appropriating the proceeds of [William’s] labors to himself.” 

Bellingham had “terrified” Hannah with “threats of keeping [William] still in prison, because he was poor and not able to pay the fine of 5 shillings for his weekly absence from their places of public worship.” Bellingham tried to cause William and Hannah to separate by sending William away without her, with the promise that she and the children would be cared for. But Hannah “spurned and detested” this “proposition.” Eventually, William was released and given three days to leave Boston. 

William and his family went to Rhode Island and then to New Jersey where they lived in Shrewsbury in Monmouth County. In 1675, he was elected to the Shrewsbury assembly, but since he wouldn’t swear an oath, he didn’t serve. The family seems to have prospered after their banishment from Boston.

Philip Shaddock notes on his Shattuck family history website some information about William of Boston found in a family history dated 1905 by Mary Elizabeth Sinnott, titled Annals of the Sinnott, Rogers, Coffin, Corlies, Reeves, Bodine and Allied Families (the Corlies are also my ancestors). Sinnott wrote that William came to Massachusetts in 1650 and became a Quaker in 1658, after which he was cruelly persecuted. He was one of the first buyers of land in Monmouth County, New Jersey, and may have been one of the founders of the Shrewsbury Meeting of Friends. He was still living in 1693, as he witnessed a marriage on September 28 that year. Below are the birth dates and marriages of William and Hannah’s children from Sinnott’s book:
Hannah, born in Boston 8 July 1654, married Restore Lippincott
Exercise born in Boston 12 November 1656, married George Corlies (my 8th great grandparents)
Elizabeth (no birth date given), married Jacob Coale
Sinnott provides a copy of William’s signature in her book, which shows that he spelled his surname “Shattock.”

William Shattuck of Boston's signature from Annals of the Sinnott, Rogers, Coffin, Corlies, Reeves, Bodine and Allied Families by Mary Elizabeth Sinnott

Philip Shaddock speculates that since William could sign his name, he must have attended school as a boy. He notes that William may have been from Stogumber, Sumerset, England, and that there were three William Shattucks born there in the years 1616, 1621, and 1623. One of these could be my William (A huge "thank you" to Philip Shaddock for posting this information online! See his well-written and well-researched website "William Shattuck of Boston/New Jersey.")

I've labeled this Google map with the location of Stogumber, Sumerset, England, where William Shattuck of Boston may have lived before immigrating to America

I wish it was always this easy to find information about all of one’s ancestors in books and websites! 

You know how you start down these genealogy rabbit holes—"way leads on to way"—and you forget what you were looking for to start with? I wish I’d written a blog post when I first ran across this story about William, but I kept putting it off because I wasn’t yet willing to spend the time to compile the information. (Writing a genealogy blog post feels like writing a research paper.) I always felt like I should be doing other “more important” things besides genealogy. I'm glad I've joined the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks blog challenge for 2018! It has me writing and researching again.


References (I've made up my own style format below from memory to save time in looking up and figuring out the proper style for genealogy.):

Shaddock, Philip, "William Shattuck of Boston/New Jersey." Electronic document, www.shaddock.ca, accessed March 22, 2018. (I originally found this website in 2016 but looked it up again in 2018 to check the links.)

Shattuck, Lemuel, Memorials of the Descendants of William Shattuck, the Progenitor of the Families in America That Have Borne His Name. 1855, Dutton Wentworth, Boston.  Electronic document, https.archive.orgaccessed March 23, 2018. Pages 366-367. (I originally found this in Google books in 2016 but downloaded a complete copy from archive.org in 2018).

Sinnott, Mary Elizabeth, Annals of the Sinnott, Rogers, Coffin, Corlies, Reeves, Bodine and Allied Families. 1905. Printed for private circulation by J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia. Page 187. Electronic document, https.archive.org, accessed March 22, 2018.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Lucky

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of March 12, 2018, is Lucky. 

I racked my brain for something to write about for this prompt. I searched through my family tree. I looked up a few more ancestors, but I just couldn't come up with anything. Then my luck changed!

I consider myself very lucky that my dad, Albert S. Pendleton, Jr., loved history and family history, and he loved to write. He wrote the newsletter for the Lowndes County Historical Society for several decades and wrote a weekly column for The Valdosta Daily Times called “Way Back When.” These publications mostly centered on people from, and happenings in, Valdosta and Lowndes County, Georgia. (He was also good at staying in touch with cousins, both near and far.) He even wrote an article about my adventure at an archaeological field school in the Pribilof Islands in Alaska 

When I began cleaning up the paper explosion in my dad’s office after he died in 2006, I filed as many of his papers as I had cabinet space for, with a focus on our family history; his research for the articles and newsletters he wrote; and his stories, poems, short stories, and plays. There are still several boxes left of papers that need to be dealt with … one day.

My cousin, Gretchen Keith, contacted me yesterday and asked if my dad had written anything about her second great grandfather, Judge Richard Augustus Peeples. Gretchen and I share Philip Coleman Pendleton and Catharine Tebeau as second great grandparents. Their son, Charles Rittenhouse Pendleton, married Judge Peeples’ daughter Sally. Charles and Sally are Gretchen's great grandparents. 

I was typing a reply to Gretchen this morning when I suddenly remembered the file I’d started for my dad’s “Way Back When” articles. I had simply put the papers in the folder to read “one day.” Well, as luck would have it, because of Gretchen’s inquiry, I finally poked through this file. 

The file folder for my dad's "Way Back When" articles. I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg!

What fun I had going through the folder, reading the article titles (and even reading a few articles)! While I didn’t come across anything about Judge Peeples, I did find a write-up that my dad wrote in 1996 about Judge Peeples' daughter-in-law, Maude Jenkins Peeples. (Maude was the wife of Richard Alexander Peeples).

I was happy to have an opportunity to do a little genealogy research today, and in the meantime, have a topic drop in my lap for this week's prompt. How lucky!


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Strong Woman

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of March 5, 2018, is Strong Woman.

For every female ancestor I considered for this prompt, Strong Woman, I discovered I’d already written about her in previous posts, so I had a hard time coming up with someone unless I went even further back in the generations. And the further back I go, the less information I have and the harder the women are to research. 

Any of my female ancestors who survived long enough to give birth to a healthy child who became my ancestor was a strong woman indeed. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. In fact, any woman who survives to adulthood is a Strong Woman, whether she leaves behind children or not. 

So as I perused my family tree and looked up a few ladies, I settled on my maternal 6th great grandmother, Amy Goodwyn/Goodwin, for no other reason than I haven’t written about her before nor have I done any research. As soon as I began researching, I found that she’d been married twice and had children by each husband.

I don’t know if the dates of birth and death that I have for Amy are correct. I don’t even remember where I got them, probably from someone’s family tree on ancestry.com before I knew better than to just copy trees. She may have been born on August 31, 1732. A findagrave memorial says she married my 6th great grandfather, Thomas Mitchell, in 1747 and they had seven children: John, Henry, Thomas Goodwin (my 5th great grandfather), Tabitha, Winifred, James, and Richard. Amy’s first husband, Thomas, died about 1762 or maybe before, as she married her second husband, John Raines, that same year, on October 5, 1762. After marrying John, she gave birth to four more children: Thomas, Robert, Cadwallader, and Amy. 

Amy died February 14, 1773, in Sussex County, Virginia. 

Here’s my descent from Amy:

Amy Goodwyn/Goodwin and Thomas Mitchell (my 6th great grandparents)
Thomas Goodwin Mitchell and Ann Raines (my 5th great grandparents)
Susannah Mitchell and Littleton Wyche (my 4th great grandparents)
Thomas Clark Wyche and Catharine MacIntyre (my 3rd great grandparents)
Mary Barry Wyche and Remer Young (my 2nd great grandparents)
Catherine Young and John T. Roberts (my great grandparents)
Leona Roberts and William Redles (my grandparents)
Leona Redles and Albert Pendleton (my parents)

I also didn't find much online about Amy's first husband Thomas. Maybe one day I'll get back to this research.


Monday, March 5, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Where There's A Will

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of February 26, 2018, is Where There's A Will.

I came across a letter in my dad’s papers from my paternal great grandfather, Alexander Shaw Pendleton, written to his children and executors. The letter is dated August 11, 1923, about a year and a half before he died in 1925 in Valdosta, Georgia. The letter begins with the following:

I have this day signed my will. In addition, I now wish to give you some advise regarding the management of the Estate, and particularly regarding The A. S. Pendleton Company, the policies of which you will probably control.

The next several paragraphs talk about running the company, etc. While that was interesting, what I read in the first paragraph on page 2 of this letter, sent me to the Internet to research:

I want you to see to it that the old negro Benjamin Franklin, who has been with me many years and who was owned by my family before the War, is not allowed to suffer for the necessities of life in his old age. Let him have the house in which he now lives free of charge. This house is owned by The Pendleton Company [sic], but you can arrange that, probably by letting the Company have use of the lot on the home place.
Page 2 of the letter Alexander Pendleton wrote to his children (this paragraph transcribed above)

I wondered if Alexander was saying "give" the house to Benjamin outright or let him live there rent-free, so I began researching online. 

I found a Ben F. Franklin, age 68, in the 1920 census at 203 Fry St. in Valdosta. His wife was Laura Jane, age 45, and their daughter was Bula Mae, age 15. 

Ben F. Franklin at 203 Fry Street, Valdosta, Georgia, in
the 1920 U.S. Census.

I looked up this address in the online Lowndes County Georgia property tax records database. A. R. Pendleton (Alexis Runette, one of Alexender's sons) is listed as grantee. There’s no date noted and no grantor, but the online records give Deed Book/page 3-X 146. Since my great uncle Alexis is listed as grantee on this property, I believe this is the correct Benjamin Franklin in the 1920 census. If the house was given to Benjamin, I wondered if it had reverted back to the Pendleton family for some reason. Maybe Benjamin Franklin had passed away.

There's a death record for a Benjamin Franklin in Valdosta, Georgia, dated November 19, 1928, but I don't know if this is the correct person. He’s not listed in the online Sunset Hill Cemetery database records, so he must be buried elsewhere in the county. Benjamin was still living at least in 1925, as I found him in the Valdosta City Directory (on ancestry.com) for that year at this same address. The notation beside his listing says “h,” which according to http://www.genealogyintime.com/dictionaries/city-directory-abbreviations.html, means “house, householder (owns the house).” But the 1921 and 1923 city directories (on ancestry.com) also say “h.” Benjamin wasn’t the owner at that time, because Alexander was still living. Maybe the “h” means “house” in this instance. I've not found Benjamin in the 1930 census.

I assume when Alexander wrote that Benjamin had been owned by his family, that he was referring to his father, Philip Coleman Pendleton, as the owner. There's an eight-year-old boy listed in the 1860 slave schedule for Philip, which indicates the child was born about 1852, the same year of birth indicated by the 1920 census for Ben F. Franklin (age 68 in 1920). 

The 1860 Ware County Georgia Slave Schedule for Philip Coleman Pendleton. Note the eight-year-old boy. (Click on the image for a larger view.) See Slaves of Philip Coleman Pendleton about my earlier search.

I wanted to go to the Lowndes County courthouse to look up the property records in person before I wrote this blog post, but the opportunity came with the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge to go ahead and publish this information for the week's topic, Where There's A Will. Plus, with being the primary care-giver of my 92-year-old mother, it’s not easy for me to get away so I can research. But one day, I’ll get to the courthouse!


P.S. I plan to do a follow-up post about Benjamin F. Franklin as I continue my research about him.

Friday, February 23, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Heirloom

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of February 19, 2018, is Heirloom.

I looked up the definition of heirloom. According to Google, an heirloom is “a valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations.” I wonder how many generations count? And what is considered valuable? I guess most of what my family has would be considered ephemera and memorabilia. But a few items come to mind that might be considered heirlooms. At least maybe in the coming generations as they get passed down. 

My mother has her father’s (William Liming Redles) U.S. Marine Corps sword. She also has a diamond that belonged to him that she had reset into a ring for herself. 

This sword belonged to my maternal grandfather William Liming Redles

My dad had his great uncle Louis Pendleton’s gold pocket watch that was sent to my paternal grandfather Albert S. Pendleton, Sr. after Uncle Louis died in 1939. 

Uncle Louis' gold pocket watch and one of his novels, In the Okefenokee.

The note with the watch says, "Watch sent to Dad by Uncle Louis administrators." The watch still works! Yes, I wound it up to see. Couldn't help myself.

What are some of your family heirlooms?


Friday, February 16, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Valentine

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of February 12, 2018, is Valentine.

I'm so lucky to have letters my maternal grandfather, William Liming Redles, sent to my grandmother, Leona Roberts, during their courtship and marriage in the 1920s and early 1930s. (He died in 1932.) I've only read through 1923, but I've listed the letters in a spreadsheet with a short synopsis of each one. 

I previously posted a Valentine's Day card I'd found in Will's letters that he'd sent to Leona for Valentine's Day in 1923. I searched my spreadsheet to see if there were any others, and I found one he mailed to her for that same Valentines' in 1923.

1923 Valentine's Day card my grandfather Will sent to my grandmother Leona

I wonder what my grandparents would think about me posting their love notes on the internet for the world to see! I doubt they'd be pleased. From reading my grandfather's letters, he sounds like a very private person. In fact, in one of his letters, he asks my grandmother to destroy all of his letters. I'm glad she didn't listen!


Friday, February 9, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Favorite Name

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of February 5, 2018, is Favorite Name.

One of my favorite names is that of my paternal second great grandmother, Catharine Sarah Melissa Tebeau. I’ve always thought it was a pretty name. My parents named my sister Melissa after her. (My first name, Catherine, is from my mom’s family.)

From Confederate Memoirs: Early Life and Family History, William Frederic Pendleton, Mary Lawson Young Pendleton. Edited by Constance Pendleton, 1958. Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania.

I haven’t found where the “Sarah” or “Melissa” in Catharine Tebeau's name might have come from. Possibly from her mother's, Hulda Lewis, side, as I've been able to match up most of Catharine's siblings' names with her father's siblings and parents (Although, some of these could also be from Hulda's family, and one of Catharine's brothers is named Lewis, obviously after Hulda's maiden name). Catharine's first name may be from her paternal grandmother, Catherine Treutlin. I’m not sure if I’m spelling either Catherine’s name correctly. I’ve seen them spelled both ways, Catharine and Catherine.

Participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks has helped me get reacquainted with my ancestors!

Do you have a favorite ancestor name?


Monday, February 5, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - In the Census

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of January 29, 2018, is "In the Census."

In spite of census records not always being accurate (not to mention, sometimes illegible), I love looking through them. They’re a snapshot in time of where our ancestors lived and what they were doing for a living on the day the enumerator stopped by their home, once every ten years. Makes me wonder sometimes, though, what was going on in those ten years in between. What changed? Sometimes they'd moved, added several more children or other family members, or lost a spouse through death, divorce, or abandonment.

While researching my paternal second great grandparents, William Jackson Brown and Sarah Adams, I found that they were listed twice in the 1850 U.S. census for Sumter County Georgia. I doubt they owned two separate properties, but I could be wrong. 

The first 1850 census for the Brown family (William and Sarah and their first two children Thomas and William) is dated November 18 (see below).

1850 U.S. census for Sumter County Georgia dated November 18, 1850

The second enumeration in the 1850 census was taken two days later, on November 20 (see below).

1850 U.S. census for Sumter County Georgia dated November 20, 1850

In each of the 1850 census records, the Browns are living near different neighbors, so the two pages aren't duplicates. In the census dated November 18, 1850, they are living next to Sarah's parents Rowell and Lucy Adams, and William's occupation is recorded as laborer. In the November 20 record, he is listed as a farmer. 

I ultimately concluded they must have moved or maybe were in the process of moving, and whomever the enumerator spoke to at each residence didn’t know the information had already been reported.

Finding an ancestor enumerated twice in the same census year sure beats not finding them at all!


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Invite to Dinner

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of January 22, 2018, is "Invite to Dinner."

Suggestions from Amy: Which ancestor would you most want to invite to dinner? Do you have a story of a memorable dinner with an ancestor? Is there a special recipe that’s been handed down? I thought I'd answer all three questions.

Deciding which ancestor I’d like to invite to dinner is tough! There are so many to choose from. For starters, I’d like to invite my maternal grandfather, William Liming Redles. I feel like he led such a fascinating life during his career in the Marines. I wrote a lengthy blog post about him when I first started this blog back in 2011. Click on his name above to read it. Then I'd like to invite my maternal grandmother, Leona Roberts, and my paternal grandparents, Albert S. Pendleton Sr. and Helen Brown (click on their names to go to the blog posts I wrote). I'd like to ask all of my grandparents what their lives were like as children and adults. 

Unfortunately, I don't have any memorable dinners with an ancestor. I wish I did. I know we had dinners with my paternal grandparents, but I don't remember when or what we ate or talked about. I remember being in their dining room at the table when I was very young, probably on a holiday. We had numerous dinners at the Big House (where my mother grew up) with my maternal great aunts, uncles, and cousins when I was young. 

One of my favorite family recipes is the brownie recipe I shared on my blog. I found out later that this recipe is probably Great Aunt Mary's. She was Mary Converse and was married to my maternal great uncle John Young Roberts, my grandmother's brother.

If I could, I'd invite all my ancestors to dinner, one by one. Everyone has a story to tell.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Longevity

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of January 15, 2018, is "Longevity."

We like to say in my family that the women on my mother’s side live a long time, and they age well, too! Sadly, my mother’s own mother died at the age of 59 of breast cancer a few months after I was born. 

My mother is currently 92 and says she’s going to reach 100. I told her to go for it! Her sister Catherine is about to turn 87. Most of their maternal aunts (my great aunts) lived to their late 80s or into their 90s: Kathleen lived to 94, Maie Dell lived to 89, Margaret lived to 93, and Mary Remer (Dinah) lived to 89-1/2. 

The back of this photo says "Edmund's wedding. The aunts."
Standing, left to right: Kathleen, Maie Dell, Leona (my grandmother)
Seated, left to right: Mary Remer (Dinah), Margaret, Stella.
(Edmund is Stella's son. One sister, Midge, wasn't there.)
Probably taken in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

Both of my dad’s sisters lived into their 90s: Clyde was 96 and Frances was 91.

I’m sure there are other people in my family tree who were long-lived. I was fortunate to have known all these ladies while growing up. I hope the longevity gene was passed down to me!


Thursday, January 11, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Favorite Photo

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of January 8, 2018, is "Favorite Photo."

This photo is ONE of my favorites, not THE favorite, as I have many favorites, especially of my family and of our ancestors.

And I guess I should say this photo is of one of my favorite subjects, because I’ve taken several photos of this statue. In fact, for a while, I took a photo of her whenever I visited Sunset Hill Cemetery in Valdosta, Georgia. I finally had to tell myself, no more photos of her. I’m not the only one fascinated by this statue. I found several photographs of her in my dad’s collection.

The Lady of Sunset Hill Cemetery, Valdosta, Georgia

I used to refer to this statue as “the angel” even though she has no wings, but lately, I’ve been calling her “the goddess” or “the lady of Sunset Hill.” She stands above the grave of Kate Martin Howell.

Whenever I visit Sunset Hill, I swing by this statue and commune with her for a few minutes. She looks so serene and peaceful.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Start

I decided at the last minute to join in Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. I participated in 2014 and had fun getting to know more about some of my ancestors and also revisiting some of my research on others. Since I haven’t written a post on this blog in over a year, I thought this would be a great way to get me writing again. I’ll write two posts this week to catch up.

For this challenge, we’ll have a topic prompt each week. For the first week of January, the prompt is “Start.” One of Amy’s suggestions for this prompt is to write about the person who got us started in genealogy. That person would be my dad, Albert S. Pendleton, Jr.

A collage I made of my dad, Albert S. Pendleton, Jr.

As far back as I can remember, my dad was interested in family history. I loved listening to the stories he would tell my siblings and me about our family, both about his and my mother’s. He wrote the Lowndes County Historical Society (LCHS) newsletter for a few decades and wrote the “Way Back When” articles for the Valdosta Daily Times that were later compiled into three volumes by the LCHS. He and Susan McKey Thomas wrote a book about Doc Holliday (Susie’s cousin), titled In Search of the Hollidays: The Story of Doc Holliday and His Holliday and McKey Families (Valdosta: Little River Press, 1973).

Dad wrote a memoir in the 1980s (I’m so glad he did!), and before he died, he asked me to look for the document. I found it scattered in a few places in his paper-strewn office. Thank goodness he’d typed his memoir, because no one can read his handwriting! And this was before computers. I retyped his memoir a few years ago so I’d have a digital copy. I intended on adding photos and having it printed to give to family members, but I haven’t done that yet. I’ve let so many other things take my attention.

My dad did a ton of research, so after he died, I began organizing his documents. It was slow going since I could only work on it when I visited from out of state. Now I live in my childhood home, taking care of my mother. There’s still tons more of my dad’s papers now sitting in boxes that need to be filed. I’ve scanned a lot to share with cousins, but there’s still more to go. Not to mention all the photographs! I’ve barely touched the surface.

Dad was good at writing cousins and staying in touch over the years. He did all of his research before the Internet and Google and ancestry.com (among other genealogy websites). He’d actually call people, visit, or write letters asking for information. I wish I could share with my dad what I’ve found out about his family lines in the past few years. He would be amazed. Thank goodness I do have the Internet at my disposal!