Tuesday, August 7, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Independence

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of July 2, 2018, is Independence.

I thought I’d write about one of my Revolutionary War ancestors, my maternal 5th great grandfather George Wyche, to learn his role in the war. 

According to an approved Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) application submitted by one of my Pendleton/Young cousins (digital copy on ancestry.com), George Wyche was “one of 45 deputies assembled in Provincial Congress at Savannah, Jan. 18, 1775.” George was elected as a field officer of the Lower Battalion for Richmond County and Augusta District. He was a Colonel, and his commission was dated June 15, 1779. 

The SAR application notes that two months later, on August 14, 1779, the Lower Battalion was ordered to join Col. Few and “proceed to the Western frontier (where George Wyche was placed in command).” I looked up Col. Few online to see if I could find what George may have participated. There were two Few brothers in the Revolution, Benjamin and William. According to the Georgia Encyclopedia, Col. William Few fought in the Battle of Burke County Jail, but that battle took place on January 26, 1779, several months before George joined "Col. Few." Benjamin Few commanded the Richmond County regiment. I don't know what Benjamin's rank was in the regiment, but perhaps higher than a colonel? 

The SAR application also says: “The name of George Wyche, officer of Richmond Co. appears on the roll of honor among a list of 42 leading men of Georgia, after the capture of Savannah.” The British had overrun Savannah in December 1778. Colonial forces fought to retake the city from September to December 1779 but failed. I wonder if George fought in this battle. The British held onto to Savannah until 1782 just before the war ended.

I wasn’t able to find any records of George’s service on fold3.com. There may not be any original records left, and I know not everything has been digitized.

I usually go more in depth than this when figuring out an ancestor's role in a war, but I will have to leave this research about George for another day.


Sunday, August 5, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Black Sheep

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of June 25, 2018, is Black Sheep.

I hate to call anyone in my family a black sheep. We’ve all made mistakes and have our own failings. But if I were to pick a person, I suppose it’d be my paternal great uncle Hoyt Henry Brown. Actually, I don’t think of him as a black sheep (unless I find out otherwise). I think of him as a rouge for leaving behind a wife and daughter in England. My dad mentions this in his memoirs, and that Hoyt's wife had written to Hoyt's mother Hattie looking for him. Then I found out recently from Hoyt's grandson that he also had son with his English wife. (This grandson is the son of Hoyt's son.)

Hoyt was my grandmother Helen’s twin brother. He was a merchant marine, which says to me that he was adventurous, while his whole family stayed close to home in north Florida and south Georgia. I get the impression from my dad’s memoirs that my great uncle was fun-loving, loud, physically strong, a drinker, and life of the party, and I think he was probably very charming. My dad wrote that Hoyt "always seemed a rebel" and was "always the topic of hushed conversation." I’ve wondered if there were other women and children elsewhere in the world, near the ports where he stopped. 

My paternal great uncle Hoyt Henry Brown.
I don't know where or when this photo was taken.
And I don't remember which cousin sent it to me!
 I apologize to that cousin for my faulty memory.

I've wondered if Hoyt and Helen and their siblings (Lucy Belle, Lavada, and Elliot) had a very stable home life growing up in Pensacola, Florida. Traveling as a merchant marine may have been Hoyt's method of getting away from whatever was going on. Although, he did end up settling in Pensacola.

I’ve written about the death of Hoyt's mother (my great grandmother): Fearless Females: The Tragic Death of Hattie Finney Brown, and about their father: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - #23 Henry Washington Brown

All families have their issues and dysfunctions. I don't care how "perfect" they appear on the outside. I believe that how we’re nurtured (as well as our nature) shapes our lives. And sometimes in families there's at least one child who has trouble finding their way (to put it nicely). Out of Hoyt and his siblings, he seems to be the one.  


Monday, June 25, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Same Name

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of June 18, 2018, is Same Name.

I wrote a post several years ago for a blog challenge by Lisa Alzo about namesakes. I had fun tracing as far back as I could go with my first and middle names: Fearless Females March 3 - Namesake

I'm sure every genealogist has had the "fun" of tracing people only to find one, two, or more with the same name. We have to dig through all the clues to figure out which one is "our" ancestor. I have several examples: Albert Redles, George Albert Redles (my maternal great grandfather), and George Redles; they're all related but only one is my direct ancestor. There are several William Limings (my maternal 2nd great grandfather) in my tree. 

The Lawsons are another bunch that are hard to trace (Hugh, Hugh, and Hugh; Roger, Roger, etc.), as well as the Knights (John, John, and Jonathan). And what about the Browns, Cooks, and Joneses? You can't get any more of a common last name than these. (Well, Smith, but you know what I mean). 

While looking for Sarah Finney, who may have been the mother of my great grandmother Hattie Finney, I happily downloaded a ton of files from ancestry.com, only to figure out they were all for the "wrong" Sarah Finney. 

I've tried to find the origins in Scotland of my maternal 5th great grandfather, Daniel MacIntyre, but there are so many Daniel MacIntyres in ancestry.com's online records that I have no idea which one. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the drift about the problem with the same names!


Friday, June 22, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Fathers Day

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of June 11, 2018, is Fathers Day.

I know I'm late getting this post written, since Fathers Day was this past weekend on June 17, but I've been trying to get caught up with the prompts for this challenge. My how time flies!

I've written several posts about my dad, Albert S. Pendleton, Jr. (links below), so I thought I'd share some of my favorite photographs of him:

Daddy and me right after I was born. I was his first!

Daddy and me at our old house on Alden Avenue in Valdosta, Georgia. I was still an only child at this point, but not for long!

Daddy at the Lowndes County Historical Society and Museum on Central Avenue in Valdosta where he was the curator for a few years. He wrote their newsletter for several decades until Parkinson's Disease took over his body.

Daddy at one of his favorite places, Ocean Pond, at Lake Park, Georgia

All five of his children at our lake house on Long Pond in Lowndes County. From left to right: Helen, me (Catherine), Missy (Melissa), John, Andy (Albert III)

All five of us with Mama and Daddy at Jekyll Island, Georgia, in the early 1970s. From left to right: Missy, Andy, Helen in front, Mama and Daddy in back, me (Catherine, and John.

I love these old photos!


Links to previous posts about my dad:

Thursday, June 21, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Going to the Chapel

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of June 4, 2018, is Going to the Chapel. Amy suggests this topic doesn't necessarily have to be about going to the chapel to get married; it could be about a clergyman in the family or a particular church. I thought of my maternal great grandfather, George Albert Redles, an Episcopalian minister.

One of seven children, George Albert (or G. Albert) Redles was born on September 12, 1843, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to John Adam Redles and Jane Eliza Myers. 

G. Albert graduated from the Boys’ Central High School in Philadelphia in 1862 and entered the University of Pennsylvania that year where he studied in the Department of Arts. He graduated in 1865.[1] 

Handwritten information (page 1) for the University of Pennsylvania’s biographical sketch in my mother’s possession. This appears to have been written by my grandfather, William Liming Redles, G. Albert’s son
Handwritten information (page 2) for the University of Pennsylvania’s biographical sketch in my mother’s possession. This appears to have been written by my grandfather William Liming Redles, G. Albert’s son

While G. Albert was at the University of Pennsylvania, he was a member of the Philomathean Society (a literary society according to Wikipedia), the Honors Club, and the University Glee Club.[2] In 1865, he entered the Episcopal Divinity School and graduated in 1868. He was ordained as a deacon by Bishop Stevens and as a priest of the Pennsylvania Diocese by Bishop Lee.[3] He accepted the position of Assistant Minister of St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware, in June 1868.[4] The following year, he married Isabella Sheppard (nee Liming) on June 7, 1869, at St. Andrews. Rev. Alfred Lee, rector of the church, performed the ceremony. It was the first marriage for G. Albert, and Isabella’s second (her first was to Joseph Sheppard, see my post Two Husbands for Isabella).

G. Albert was the rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, from 1871 to 1874.[5] He baptized his own son, William Liming Redles, on March 16, 1874, in this church.[6] G. Albert and Isabella had two other children, Isabella (b. 1876) and Helen (b. 1877).

G. Albert eventually joined the Reformed Episcopal Church and was the rector of the Reformed Episcopal Church of Our Redeemer. He was the rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Philadelphia from 1910 to 1912. He retired in June 1912, and died on November 4, 1912, at the age of 69.[7] According to the handwritten information for the University of Pennsylvania’s biographical sketch, G. Albert was the rector of a total of six churches (see footnote 1 below). 


[1] Handwritten information for the University of Pennsylvania’s biographical sketch in my mother’s possession. This appears to have been written by my grandfather William Liming Redles, G. Albert’s son. 

[2] University Society Record, University of Pennsylvania, 1863. University Record, University of Pennsylvania, College Year 1864-1865. (Both available online at Penn University Archives & Records Center.)

[3] The American Church Almanac Yearbook for 1913, page 568. Edwin S. Gorham Publisher, New York. (Digital copy available on Google Books)

[4] 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 2, 1869, Published by Order of the Convention, H. & E. F. James Printers, Wilmington, Delaware, 1869. (Digital copy available on Google Books)

[5] Archives of the General Convention, Edited by Order of the Commission on Archives by Arthur Lowndes, New York, 1912, page 348. (Digital copy available on www.archive.org)

[6] Baptismal record for William Liming Redles. (accessed on ancestry.com) Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, Reel 777.

[7] See footnote 3.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - So Far Away

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of May 28, 2018, is So Far Away.

I’ve been intrigued by my paternal 7th great grandfather’s, Philip Pendleton, trek so far away from Norwich, England to the colony of Virginia in America, not once but twice. I imagine it was an arduous journey across the vast ocean, on the sea for months before making landfall. Of course, back then, our ancestors thought they were so modern in their modes of travel on horses, in wagons and carriages, and on ships with sails, like we think we're so modern with cars, trains, planes and jets, motorized boats and ships, and spaceships. What would they think of us now?

The information below is from The Descendants of Philip Pendleton, A Virginia Colonist (2007, Heritage Books) by David Ellis Pendleton. David notes that “many if not most” Pendletons in America are descended either from Philip Pendleton (the Virginia Pendletons) or Brian Pendleton (the New England Pendletons). DNA has shown that these two groups aren’t related to each other, but they come from the same area of England—Manchester, their “ancestral home.” 

Philip’s great grandfather George Pendleton Jr. (b. 1553, d. 1603) moved from Manchester England (possibly from the township of Pendleton near Manchester) to Norwich where he married Elizabeth Pettingale. Their son Henry (b. 1614, d. 1682) is my paternal 9th great grandfather.

Fast forward to Philip Pendleton, son of Henry Pendleton (son of Henry, son of George Jr. above) and his second wife, Elizabeth Douglass. Philip was born in Norwich March 26, 1654. His older brother, Nathaniel, was born March 31,1650. 

Philip and Nathaniel immigrated to Virginia in 1674, both indentured to Capt. Edmund Crask. Their voyage would have taken several months in a small ship under Master Capt. John Plover. Nathaniel, a unmarried clergyman with no children, died soon after their arrival. Philip worked out his indentured contract (1674-1679) in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia, where he lived. Then he returned to England where he married his first wife. Her name hasn’t been found as far as I know. She died about a year later. Philip stayed in England until the death of his father Henry in 1682, and then he left again for Virginia. He married Isabella Hurt in 1682 and they had seven children (their son Henry is my 6th great grandfather--all these Henrys! It gets confusing.).

Google Earth image with Norwich, England and Virginia noted with yellow pin marks and a red line connecting the two locales. (Click on the image for a larger view.)
According to a deposition quoted in David's book from William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, Vol. IV (“The First Generation of the Pendleton Family in Virginia,” in Genealogies of Virginia Families, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore, 1982), Philip’s mother Elizabeth sent him and his brother Nathaniel to America: 
Two reputed Brothers called & known by the name of Nathaniell [sic] Pendleton & Phillip [sic] Pendleton sent as this Depont heard by their Mother in the Ship…
A comment on the above deposition notes:  
The statement made by George Ward that he understood that the Pendletons [Philip and Nathaniel] were sent to the colony by their mother, is very interesting and one cannot but speculate as to the reasons for their being sent. Philip Pendleton evidently did not break off relations with his family in England for ‘at the end of five years servitude’ he returned to the mother country. After a brief sojourn there he came again to Virginia.
Indeed, why would a mother send her sons so far away with the possibility of never seeing them again? Neither of her sons would inherit property from their father, as he had sons by his first wife Hannah (if any were still living by this time). Maybe Elizabeth thought her sons could make their fortunes in America. However, David indicates in his book (pg 10) that in the 1670s, the economic situation in Virginia wasn't looking so good. Did Philip commit some indiscretion in England, so he was sent to America under the watchful eye of his older brother? Or was something going on in Norwich that Elizabeth wanted to spare her sons from? I looked up what was happening in England in 1674, but nothing of note came up in Norwich. I suppose we’ll never know Elizabeth’s reasons for sending her sons to America.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Military

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of May 21, 2018, is Military. I wondered who to write about for this prompt. I’ve already written about my dad’s World War II experiences and about my maternal grandfather, William Liming Redles, who retired as a Lt. Col. in the U.S. Marine Corps. I have several ancestors who fought in the American Revolution. But then I thought about James Pendleton, brother of my paternal great grandfather Alexander Shaw Pendleton. My dad had a copy of James' American Civil War diary (dated 1865), both a transcribed copy and a copy of the original, that he received from a cousin. I'd never taken the time to read the diary.

James Aubrey Pendleton was the son of my paternal 2nd great grandparents, Philip Coleman Pendleton and Catharine Sarah Melissa Tebeau. During the Civil War, he was in the Surveying Corps of Georgia under his uncle, Major John R. Tebeau, who was his mother’s brother. James was 18 years old. His sixteen-year-old brother Philip was with him during this time. James’ father Philip and older brother William Frederic were both soldiers in the Civil War. 

Since I love maps, I decided to look up the places James went with the surveying corps on Google maps. The first entry in his diary is below:
March 1 Thursday. A diary for 1865 beginning March 1st. Engineering Dept. Of Georgia in camp at Abbeville C. H. [court house] awaiting orders from Maj McCrady who left us at Edefield [sic] C. H. [court house] on our way here, to go to Columbia [South Carolina]. Weather, cloudy and wet - The finishing up of a long wet spell which I sincerely hope has left Sherman in a bog. 
I believe James is referring to Abbeville, South Carolina, as there’s also an Abbeville, Georgia, south of Warner Robins. Also, I wonder if he meant “Edgefield” rather than “Edefield.” There’s an Edgefield, South Carolina, which today is part of the metropolitan area of Augusta, Georgia, and is southeast of Abbeville, SC. 

The surveying corps left Abbeville on March 6, two weeks after they’d arrived, and headed back to Augusta, GA. On March 7, James writes, “This day we joyfully took up our line of March for Old Georgia.”

Map from Google Earth with most of the locations marked where James traveled during the American Civil War (click on the map for a larger view).

On March 11, the corps arrived at Fury’s Ferry. When I looked this up on Google maps, it shows a Furys Ferry Road (see map above), now Highway 28 South. This highway runs by Abbeville, SC, and crosses the Savannah River, the dividing line between South Carolina and Georgia, northwest of Augusta. The surveying corps crossed the ferry on March 12 and set up camp near Augusta, “the same day we left it just one month ago.” On March 17, they passed through Augusta heading east to South Carolina. They surveyed several miles of road from Bath, SC, to Graniteville, SC. 

On March 22, the corps received word they were to return to Augusta to prepare to go to Chester [sic], SC. Later, James says the town is Chesterville: “March 30th The Engineer wagon train left Augusta this day for Chesterville [sic], S.C. at two o’clock - marched about ten miles and camped for the night.” There’s both a Chester (southwest of Charlotte, NC) and a Chesterfield (southeast of Charlotte, NC) but no Chesterville that I could find.

After the corps arrived in “Chesterville” on April 4, they were told to leave on April 8 for Hillsborough, NC. They traveled to Charlotte by train and on to Hillsborough, arriving on April 10. The next day, April 11, they were sent north to Roxboro, NC. They set up camp that same day and then received word to return to Hillsborough! They wondered why such a quick change in plans and found out that General Robert E. Lee had surrendered. The surveying corps was ordered back to Charlotte, NC, “without delay.” James’ entry on April 14th states: 
On the road to Charlotte. We travel at the rate of twenty miles a day carrying our luggage on our backs. Our party consists of twenty-one men and boys, white and black, with one wagon.
On April 23rd, James writes: “All are enjoying today the rest they so much need after a steady march of nearly two hundred miles.” He doesn't say where they are. On April 24th, they prepared for “another long tramp to Augusta, Ga.” 

On May 1, 1865, James says: 
Crossed Banknights’ Ferry on the Saluda, marching a distance of 23 miles. Weather clear and mild. It is reported that peace is declared on what terms we know not.
James’ last entry: 
May 2nd Marched twenty-two miles today and camped. Slight showers during the night. It is reported today that all the country east of the Chattahoochee is surrendered and all the men to be paroled; if this is so we will all soon be home.
What a slog for three months around parts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina! James writes about getting soaked to the skin marching through the rain; camping in open pine groves, in the woods, and in deserted slave houses; and marching anywhere from 10 to 23 miles a day. His brother Philip was sick part of the time. The weather was pleasant some of the time. James was able to send $100 back home; quite a sum back then.

I can't imagine what James' mother must have felt having a husband and three sons away during the war.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Another Language

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of May 14, 2018, is Another Language.

For this prompt, I thought of my immigrant ancestors and the languages they spoke when they arrived in America: English, Irish, Scottish, French, and German. There are probably others that I can’t think of right off hand without getting all technical and looking at my genealogy software or at a map. 

I also thought of my maternal grandfather, William Liming Redles, and my Aunt Catherine (his daughter and my mother’s sister), who both spoke several languages. My mom told me their father could speak five languages, including Spanish and Japanese and maybe Chinese, too. Will was a U.S. Marine and was stationed in Cuba and Japan, and he had visited China on several occasions as part of his U.S. Marine duties. 

My maternal grandfather, William Liming Redles

Aunt Catherine spoke German, Italian, Portuguese, and Brussels French, just to name a few. She’s lived all over the world working in the Foreign Service for the U.S. State Department until she retired.

My mom and Aunt Catherine were told that Will could speak Japanese fluently, and that if he was sitting behind a screen with native Japanese speakers, no one would be able to tell that one speaker was not Japanese. I remember Aunt Catherine saying that an Italian had complimented her on how well she spoke Italian, like a native-speaker. 

Aunt Catherine reminds me on occasion that if you don’t use the language you’ve learned, you tend to forget it. So true. I took Latin and Spanish in high school and French in college and can’t speak any of them now. The reverse might also be true, forgetting your native tongue. I have a British friend who lived in France for several years. He told me once that he was forgetting his English (he has since moved back to England). 

Learning a new language isn't easy. No wonder many of our immigrant ancestors lived in enclaves with people from their former countries who also spoke the language of the old homeland, even while trying to assimilate to their new home in America.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Mother's Day

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of May 7, 2018, is Mother's Day.

Mother’s Day was this past Sunday (May 13). We took Mama out for brunch. Not everyone in our large family was able to come with us but we still had a table full—11 in all. It was nice to sit with family for a meal. We don’t get to do that very often. 

My mother, Leona Redles Pendleton, and me not long after I was born

Three generations: my mother holding me, and her mother, Leona Roberts Redles, is on the right 

I’m my mother’s oldest; that means I made her a mother first! Ha! But that didn’t make me her favorite. Mama doesn’t have any favorites; at least she never acted like any of her five children were her favorites. That’s a good thing, I think. At brunch, I teased my son that he was my favorite son (he’s my only son). And he said I was his favorite mother. Kids!

I hope Mama had a great Mother's Day!


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Close Up

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of April 30, 2018, is Close Up.

I feel like I know my maternal grandfather, William Liming Redles, close up, because of the letters and documents he left behind that were saved after his death by his wife, my grandmother Leona Roberts. I don’t have such a volume of information on any other ancestor written in his or her own hand. My grandmother saved the letters Will wrote to her, even after he requested that she destroy them. I’m glad she didn’t listen. Stubborness runs on the Roberts side. 

My maternal grandparents Leona Roberts and William Liming Redles

I believe attention to detail runs on the Redles side, at least in Will’s case. Maybe that’s part of the reason Will made the Marines a career. It fed that part of his personality, or made it useful. I wonder if attention to detail can be passed down in our genes. I certainly have it, and one of my children and one of my grandchildren have it, too. I was told once it’s my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. I can’t see the forest for the trees, to use a cliche. In reading Will’s letters, it seems he picks apart detail after detail, focusing on the smallest of things. He was bossy as an older brother to two younger sisters and as an older husband to a much younger wife. I suppose my younger siblings, my children, and my grandchildren would say I'm the same way.

My dad had started a novel about the father-in-law he never met (Will died in 1932), but the book was never published. The story starts out as Will (Trent in the novel) lays dying, and then his story is told in flashbacks through letters from his sisters and friends, letters to his wife, and military documents. My dad changed all the names. I’ve wanted to write a biography about Will, but it will only interest my immediate family, if even them. And it feels like such a monumental task to get the details right (as much as I love detail). 

Rather than repeat what I've written about Will before, please take a look at my previous blog posts:

My Maternal Grandfather William Liming Redles
Church Record Sunday - The Baptism of William L. Redles
Sympathy Saturday - Scrapbook of a Death
My Granddad's Philadelphia

Maybe I’ll do like my dad, and write a work of fiction about my grandfather. I do find his life fascinating. 


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Cemetery

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of April 23, 2018, is Cemetery.

I love going to cemeteries. I visit our family plots in Sunset Hill Cemetery off and on here in Valdosta, Georgia. I went to the cemetery quite often when I first moved back to Valdosta five years ago. I like to sit by my dad’s and my paternal grandparents' graves for a while and commune with nature and with the dead. Then I visit my ancestors' graves. It’s just been way too hot the last two summers, so I haven't visited as much as I once did.

After I moved back to Valdosta, my son told me about a compilation of cemeteries and burials in Lowndes County (Valdosta is the county seat). I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book, so I thought I'd write about this handy resource.

Church and Family Cemeteries in Lowndes County, Georgia 1825-2005 was compiled by Geraldine McLeod Clifton and Dorothy Peterson Neisen (Reprinted 2007, Genealogy Unlimited Society, Inc. Printed and bound by Wayne and Judy Dasher, Nashville, Georgia). Information is included from Survey of Lowndes County Cemeteries 1825-1987, originally published by Genealogy Unlimited Society Inc. in 1987.  

Church and Family Cemeteries in Lowndes County is in two volumes. Burials in each cemetery are alphabetized by surname. Section numbers, birth date, and death date are referenced with each burial. There are also directions to the cemeteries, and some cemetery plats are included. There’s an index where the cemeteries are listed by area of the county. For example: Clyattville Area, Dasher Area, etc. There's also an index with an alphabetical list of surnames for the burials and one for the cemeteries. Some black and white photographs of graves are included. An alphabetized list of deaths after March 31, 2005 through July 2005 is also included.

These volumes don’t have Sunset Hill Cemetery (owned by the City of Valdosta) or Riverview Memorial Gardens (owned by McLane Funeral Home), but the authors note that books for these cemeteries will be printed at a later date. Information on burials at Sunset Hill can be accessed online by an interactive map. You can also visit the offices of both cemeteries for information. Most of the burials at Riverview Memorial have been posted on findagrave.

How about you? Do you like visiting cemeteries? I guess I mainly like to visit the ones where I have relatives and ancestors. 


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.