30 August 2010

Amanuensis Monday - Grandaddy's Bible

My Grandaddy, Roy Albea, was given a bible in November of 1991 by two of his sons. He recorded his knowledge of his family's genealogy in this bible. Here's a transcription of the information:


This Holy Bible 
Presented to
Roy Vernon Albea Sr

Lloyd Milton Albea Sr
Larry Dean Albea

21st Day of November
1991 A.D.


This Certifies That
Roy Vernon Albea Sr
Betty Dolores Huyler
were wedded in
Holy Matrimony
on the First day of February
in the year of our Lord 1947
at Greenville, SC
by Rev Sparks
Witness Ruby Lee Waters "Mother"
Witness Lola Mae Buckner "Friend"


Name         Dates
All my children
Roy Vernon Albea Jr 8-28-49
June Elizabeth Albea 6-26-51
Charles Lee Albea 7-3-52
Ruby Louise Albea 8-26-54
Lloyd Milton albea 8-5-55
Larry Dean Albea 9-9-56


Family Tree

Wife Betty Dolores Huyler

Brothers and Sisters [Blank]

Mother Ruby Lee Waters     Father Vary Americus Huyler
Brothers and Sisters Mrs Ethel W Bouchillon Brothers and Sisters [Blank]
Mrs. Alma W. Underwood
Mr. L. C. Waters
Mr. Milton Waters
Mr. Jack Waters


Family Tree

Husband Roy Vernon Albea Sear

Brothers and Sisters 
Charles Ray Albea Twin Brother Deceased at 9 mos
Mrs. Frances Ninola A. Clary
Mrs. June Marie A. Wingard
Mrs. Pansy Cammellia A. Chandler

Mother Mamie Auline Witt Albea (Wilson)Father Charles Vernon Albea
Brothers and Sisters Mr Wilburn WittBrothers and Sisters Paul, Melvin & Coleman
Patricia W. StroudEvalina & Mattie
Mr Truman L. Witt
Mrs. Velma W. Cromer
Mrs. Alyce W. Page
Mrs. Gladys W. Fellows
Grandfather William David WittGrandfather William A. Albea
Brothers & Sisters [Blank]Brothers & Sisters [marked out]
Grandmother Mrs Ola Quatterbawm WittGrandmother Nina Sprouse Albea
Brothers & Sisters Mae & Ruby sistersBrothers & Sisters [Blank]

29 August 2010

Joining the Old Edgefield District Genealogy Society

     When I visited the Lincoln County Library last month, I spoke at length with the genealogist there.  After expounding on my ancestry, she encouraged me to join the Edgefield Genealogy Society, of which she herself is a member. It's the largest one in the state, and covers a large area of South Carolina. Old Edgefield County helped give birth to Saluda, Greenwood, and McCormick Counties, all of which were once home to my ancestors. And, although I have not made any concrete connection, many of my FamilyFinder DNA test results seem to point to Edgefield.

     The OEDGS has a pretty spiffy website that gives the history of the society and advertises all of the records that are available through them, including a large collection of books and newspapers.  They have numerous publications for sale and will also do information look ups for a fee.  Looking at their surname list, all of the surnames I'm interested in from this area are already listed. I'm not currently a member of any genealogy society, but this looks like a great genealogy one for me to join.

     Although it's a little late in the year to join a genealogy society, I mailed off my application and check on Friday. According to the website, I will receive all back issues of this year's newsletters. I'm really looking forward to receiving all of these newsletters at once. I really hope that there might be something in them that is pertinent to my research. I'll be waiting with anticipation until the materials arrive.

Whose Funeral Is This?

     My Grandmama had a large number of photos from her mother, Ruby Waters Huyler. She was also given a large number of photos and keepsakes from her aunts, who had no children themselves.  Most of those photos are of the Waters family, who lived in Atlanta, Georgia and Greenville, South Carolina. There are a lot of photos of unknown folks that I honestly don't know if I'll be able to ever identify most of them.

     Amongst the photos are three that I'm very interested in identifying: photos of a funeral. 

funeral funeralfuneral

     As you can see, two of the photos were taken at a inside location, a funeral home or church perhaps, and the third was taken at the cemetery. There are a lot of clues in these photos that might help to identify the time period and location: a profile of the deceased, the large number and type of flower arrangements, the other burial in the cemetery, etc. I'm going to take a day to analyze the photos and then post about what I find. If you see anything in these photos that might be helpful, point it out!  

25 August 2010

My Family Tree is Young

[This post is a collaborative work between myself and my sister, Sarah.] 

     My family tree is young. Let me explain what I mean by that.

     A lot of Americans go into genealogy in order to find out "where my ancestors came from." I know that was part of the reason that I was interested in genealogy, and it still is. I'd always been told that my family was a mix of Western European and a bit of Native American.  No details were know, but my paternal grandfather had red hair, so everyone told me he was Irish. I figured that when I started researching I'd quickly find myself tracing ancestors overseas in just a few generations and soon find out everything about my ancestry. After all, simply logging onto Ancestry.com's family trees show that millions of others have been able to do it. Perhaps, I thought, it  would be just as easy to log onto EllisIsland.org and start plugging in names. It should be a simple enough process, right?

     Now, after seven years of research, I can tell you that didn't turn out to be the case.

Unlike a friend of mine, Nikki, who is a third generation American on every branch of her family tree my search wasn't so simple. My ancestors didn't come over in the massive immigration periods of the late 1800s and early 1900s. The most recent immigrants arrived in the middle of the early 1700s. So far, I have not found any ancestor who arrived later than that (though I haven't yet traced all lines to this time period).

Each person on this chart is a "tree-top" on my family tree, shown by birth year. For most of my family lines, I can trace back to someone born in the late 1700s or early 1800s in America.  Those shown in bold are my immigrant ancestors. There are not many, and they span multiple generations.No single generation contains only those born overseas.

As you can see many of my "tree-top" ancestors were born after the 1700s. Many of them can either be found in the 1850 census or have children who left behind vital records stating who their parents were. In other words, most of my research only goes back as far as the "easy" records.

Although I am still researching, and my ultimate goal is still to find out where my ancestors "came from," I am progressing cautiously. It's not just a simple search of Ellis Island records or other detailed immigration and naturalization records, as I thought it might be. Because my ancestors came over earlier than I anticipated they left fewer, less detailed records and are harder to track. It has made me more cautious and hesitant. Even when I obtain good "proof," I am hesitant to add older connections. My fear of including errors in my tree has, perhaps, made me overly cautious and likely even hindered my research.

At the same time, these difficulties have allowed and encouraged me to concentrate on post 1850 research. There are a plethora of documents available for these ancestors, including military, social security, and other vital records. These later ancestors simply left behind more documentation, which has allowed me to expand my collateral research. This, in turn, has helped to enrich my research of direct line ancestors. I have discovered many clues to direct ancestors by researching their siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins which I may have otherwise ignored if I was simply trying to "go back to Adam and Eve."

So, although I get frustrated by the difficulties in researching the earlier immigrants to this country versus the more recent ones, I have developed a full and broad family tree of my post 1850 ancestors. I am still on the hunt for those elusive immigrant ancestors. For now I have established a strong, well researched base to my family tree and I can continue to search for older ancestors, knowing that there are no errors in my lower branches.

24 August 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Evans

Ethel Evans

     Ethel Evans was the daughter of John and Leila Evans of Elbert County, Georgia. She was born on 6 Mar 1907 and died on 5 Dec 1911. She was buried in the Rock Branch Baptist Church Cemetery in Elbert County, Georgia, next to her parents.

23 August 2010

Amanuensis Monday - Smith's In The 1899 ATL Directory

   A number of my Smith family ancestors appeared in the 1899 Atlanta City Directory. Because many in the family were of age and working they had their own listings, even though they lived in the same household.  I was excited to find my Great-Great Gradmother, Louise Smith with her own listing. I'd hoped to find her twin sister, Louisa, listed, but she died in 1899 and must have already passed when this directory was created. I was also hoping to find Louise's future husband, Leverett Waters, listed, but he wasn't there either. I haven't been able to find him in the 1900 Census and, as Lou and Leverett were married late that year, I hoped that he would be living near her in 1899. No luck so far. Regardless, here are the Smiths as they are listed in the directory.


1899 ATL Directory - Louise Smith
Atlanta City Directory for 1899

Page 1189
[Smith] Aaron, wks Expo Cotton Mills, r 63 Organ
[Smith] Albert, wks Expo Cotton Mills, r 63 Organ

Page 1200
Smith Miss Louise, wks Expo Cotton Mills, bds 63 Organ

Page 1202
[Smith] Richard T, wks Expo Cotton Mills, r 63 Organ

21 August 2010

Surname Saturday - Quattlebaum

    The Quattlebaum family line was the first that I was able to trace back overseas (thanks to the well researched, documented and published family histories already available). My most recent Quattlebaum ancestor is my Great-Great Grandmother, Frances Iola "Ola" Quattlebaum. She was born on 15 Mar 1879 in Edgefield County, South Carolina to Milledge Evander and Mary Jane Dorn Quattlebaum.  Here's the rest of the line:

1. Frances Iola Quattlebaum
b. 15 Mar 1879, South Carolina
d. 1 Sep 1932, Greenwood County, South Carolina
m. 1898 William David Witt
lived Edgefield & Greenwood Counties, South Carolina

2. Milledge Evander Quattlebaum
b. 16 Sep 1858, South Carolina
d. 25 Jul 1926, South C
m. Mary Jane "Mamie" Dorn
m. Martha Jane "Mattie" Reagan
lived Edgefield, Greenwood & McCormick Counties, South Carolina

3. John Peter Quattlebaum
b. 1 Jul 1817, South Carolina
d. 1 Apr 1906
m. Permelia Langley
m. Elizabeth Johnson
lived Edgefield & Greenwood Counties, South Carolina

4. David Quattlebaum
b. 12 Dec 1795, South Carolina
d. 1 Dec 1844, South Carolina
m. Jane Harmon
m. Nancy Johnson
m. Rosa Ann Nelson
lived Edgefield County, South Carolina

5. Peter Quattlebaum
b. 1744, Pennsylvania
d. est 1806, South Carolina
m. Ann Catherine Cappleman
lived Edgefield County, South Carolina and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

6. Petter Quattelbaum
b. est 1689, Germany
d. 14 Jan 1748, Kinsington, Philadelphia, PA
m. Anna Maria Barbara Von Der Hutte Herckendall
lived Rhine Region, Germany and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

In Germany, the original spelling was Quattelbaum. This is a map of the surname distribution in 
Germany today from World Names Profiler. Today there remains a high concentration of Quattelbaums in the Rhine Region.

19 August 2010

Cemetery Walking

     My sister, Sarah, and I went to the Appalachee Baptist Church cemetery near her house yesterday, where our Great-Great Uncle, Melvin Albea, is buried. Wearing capris and flip-flops, I was completely unprepared for the un-mowed grass that was full of bugs and prickly  things. I got one stuck in my heal and made Sarah pull it out because I couldn't even look at it. Shudder.... Luckily I didn't walk where she did, because she picked up about 20 of them.  Ouch!

My Feet, My Cemetery

16 August 2010

Monday Memories - Baby Jack

     My Grandmama had this photo of her Uncle Jack Waters:

Baby Jack

     My Grandmama had this story of this photo of her Uncle Jack Waters:
Jack did not want to have cooperate for this photo. Jack would not smile for the camera. Jack did like money. They gave Jack money to play with. Jack smiled for the camera.

08 August 2010

Cowboys in the Family

     Over at The Slovak Yankee blog, Martin Hollick has come up with a great new meme for genealogy bloggers: Find an ancestral picture and tell us which TV show or movie it best depicts.

     Looking through photos from my parents childhood, and thinking back on some of the stories they've told, there's definitely a theme: westerns.

craft_wayne_gary_2 albea65 craft_wayne_gary_kenny

     These photos show my uncles on both sides of my family as well as my dad (on the bike) dressed up as cowboys.  I know my parents both grew up watchings shows like Bonanza. My mom tells a story about when Bonanza started showing in color. She was so excited that her favorite show would be in color and wouldn't believe anyone when they told her that they would still be watching it in black and white.  They didn't have a color tv. "But Little Joe says it will be in color!" She was very disappointed when the show remained in black and white on her tv.

     As children do, my parents liked to act out their favorite tv shows and stories. Here's a story that I transcribed from an interview with my mom about her siblings playing cowboys... and almost killing my Uncle Lloyd.
"I was too young to remember this but... when it happened, but mamma used to tell us sometimes about when we were little and June and Charlie and Lloyd were... I guess we were probably all out in the backyard and they were playin' Sheriff. And so, June or Charlie one was the Sheriff, and they had Uncle Lloyd and they had gotten him up on the tricycle and somehow they had gotten a rope around the chinaberry tree limb and they were gunna hang Uncle Lloyd.
Now, fortunately, mamma looked out the door... out the back door to check on us and saw Lloyd on the tricycle. And she was afraid to holler because she's afraid she'd scare us. So she had to go runnin' out the back door and she grabbed Uncle Lloyd so that she could get the noose off his neck before they kicked the tricycle out from under 'em. So, you never know what kinda crazy stuff that we were doin' when we were kids. But, anyway, it was just playin', fortunately mamma caught us in time."

03 August 2010

Thoughts on 'A Letter Home From War'

      On Monday I posted a letter that my GGG-Grandfather Franklin E Leaphart wrote to his wife during the Civil War. In his letter, he touched on many different topics, all of which provide great insight into his life and the world around him. 

The War
     On 9 February 1863, Franklin E Leaphart was camped at Fredericksburg, Virginia with the rest of Company C of the 15th South Carolina Infantry (he had originally enlisted on 28 December 1861 in Lexington, SC with the 20th Regiment). At the time of the letter, Frank and his regiment were at rest. He does not give any information on previous battles, but given that he had been at war for over a year, he must have seen fighting by this time. I wonder why he doesn't talk about it directly? A quick reference check shows that the 15th fought at the battle of Fredericksburg, which had taken place a few months prior, so Frank should have fought in that battle.

     At the time of the letter, Frank wrote that,
"I cannot tell you anything positive about the war. We have orders for General Lee to be ready at all times. To march to battle at a moments warning."
"We suffer enough without fighting. Tongue cannot express how bad we fair out here but O how thankful I will be to my maker if I am spared to see peace made and get home to you and our dear litle children, there to have rest from my pains and trouble during this unfriendly war."
     Reading this, I feel bad for the conditions that Frank and his fellow soldiers find themselves in. They are miserable and can only look forward to more bad times for years to come. The 15th would fight at Gettysburg, Chicamauga, Spotsylvania, and Petersburg, to name a few battles. Frank himself died on 12 Oct 1864 from wounds and disease in a Virginia hospital. It really makes me sad to know how he died, his last years in misery, and that he could not live to an old age with his family.


Ida Leaphart Hyler
     Frank's wife was Julia Ann "July" Craps / Crapps, the daughter of David Craps. The couple made their home on land purchased from David. In his letter, Frank makes reference to "our little boys," Wade and Pierce. At the time Wade would have been eight and Pierce was only three.  A bit further down in the letter, Frank talks about Julia's "confinement." Julia was then pregnant with her daughter, Ida, who was apparently conceived while Frank had been "sick at home" the previous fall. Frank writes that he hopes to come for his daughter's birth and "will use every exertion to get a furlough to come home about that time." Ida was born on 30 May 1863, a time during which Frank is listed as "present"with his regiment. However, a year later Frank did make it home. On 6 May 1864 he created his will, which was witnessed by three of his neighbors. I'm glad that he came home at least once and met his daughter, since he never made it home from war.  Also, it seems that he truly loved his wife, signing his letter as Julia's "true and affectionate husband until death." Julia died less than a year later (cause unknown to me). I wonder if things would have been different if Frank had come home?

The Economy
     A good amount of Frank's letter is instruction to Julia on running the farm: clearing ground, moving sheep, buying land, etc. It makes me wonder about the way the family ran the home. Is this just a reminder of the general way to run the farm that Julia probably already knew how to do? Or was this needed instruction that Julia didn't previously know? I suspect the former. I can't see that a farmer's wife wouldn't know some of these aspects of farming and animal care. I would also guess that many of these decisions were up to Frank. He was probably the one who set the schedule on when to do what, so Julia might not be used to making such decisions and would appreciate the guidance. All of this shows that Frank is not only fighting a war, but he's also running a farm from hundreds of miles away.
     In his letter, Frank also talks about the price of paper. Part of the letter is missing here, but paper costs $3 - though for one piece or more is unclear. That's pretty expensive for paper! He instructs Julia to tear out pages from a book in order to write back. I wonder how much paper would have cost her - or if it was even available?

     The third sentence in Frank's letter gives reference to slavery. Apparently in her last letter, Julia had informed her husband that she had "hired a Negro" to work on the farm. This would have meant that Julia had paid a slave owner for the use of their slave.
     Later in the letter Frank asks about a slave that have been offered for sale by "old... Fort" for $600. The slaveowner's first name is missing here, but looking at census records, I think that the owner is probably A H Fort. Mr Fort is the only indexed Fort in Lexington County and, at 73 years old, would qualify as "old." He owned 34 slaves in the 1860 census. Frank wants Julia to try and purchase the woman for $400. I cannot find any record of Frank & Julia owning slaves in the 1850 or 1860 slave census records, nor in Frank's estate records. I'm not sure if Julia left a will, which might have reflected slave ownership. I do know that Julia's father, David, owned three slaves in 1860 and there are a number of men named Leaphart in Lexington County who owned slaves.
     So, I can't say for certain that Frank & Julia bought the woman - but they were willing to. I know for a fact that my Craft, Albea and Quattlebaum ancestors owned slaves. As many white Americans whose ancestors owned slaves, I find myself conflicted on how to view my ancestors. On one hand, this was the culture of the time and the way my ancestors were raised. On the other hand, there were millions of other whites in the country and around the world that had already come to the realization that slavery was wrong, wrong, wrong. Seeing where my ancestor was bargaining for the price of a human being makes it so much more real and heartbreaking. I can't help thinking about the poor woman that is being offered for sale. She's already been hired out as a worker to their neighbor, and now she might be sold to yet another person. She had no say in any of this. Considering the number of slaves that Fort owned, some of them were probably family. She might never see them again. Maybe some of the many children that Fort owned were her children. I hate that in a letter in which Frank writes so lovingly of his family, he can be so oblivious to the sufferings of others.

     Frank ends his letter with a prayer:
"July, I want you to take good care of my little boys. Try to raise them right and if I never meet you and them no more on earth, I hope to meet you in heaven. May the Lord be with us in all our troubles and help us with the pleasure of meeting again before long, to stay in peace at home and raise our children and to rest from our troubles in this war."
     I'm not sure what religion Frank followed, though it should have been some form of protestant Christianity. It's possible that they were Lutherans. The book, "Journal of the Rev. Godfrey Dreher, 1819-1851," by a Lutheran reverend lists numerous Leaphart and Craps individuals from the area. Regardless of their exact denomination, it's obvious that Frank is a, at least relatively, religious man. He places his hopes for the future in God's hands and hopes for the best. Again, this prayer makes me sad when I know that Frank will never come home from war.

     Every sentence in this letter provides clues into the lives of Frank & Julia Leaphart. This letter touches on both the good and evil in life, but in the end it paints an honest picture of my ancestors. I only wish that I had a letter like this for all of my ancestors!

1. Franklin E Leaphart, letter to Julia C Leaphart, 9 Feb 1863.
2. "F Leapheart," Confederacy, South Carolina. American Civil War Soldiers [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.
3. "F E Leapheart," Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of South Carolina. Footnote.com (NARA M267, Record Group 109)
4. "DreherJournal" at Palmeto Genealogy Association.

02 August 2010

A Letter Home From War (Amanuensis Monday)

   About a week ago, I was contacted by another researcher on the Leaphart family. She had seen my blog posts about the Leaphart family and wanted to exchange information. Among the documents that I received was a transcription of a letter that my GGG-Grandfather, Frank E Leaphart, sent to his wife Julia (aka July) in 1863, while he was away at war.

   In this letter, Frank talks about the war and his health, gives farming advise to his wife, talks about buying a slave, and ends with a prayer. I'm posting the transcription today, and I'll post my thoughts on it soon.

Dear July [Julie],
Having just received a letter from you I will hasten to reply. Your letter was thankfully received. I was extremely glad to hear from you again, it affords me great pleasure to hear that you and our little boys are well and also to hear that you have hired a Negro to help you along with your work. I am not very well at present. I have taken such a severe cold and soar [sore] throat and also that disease which I have in my breast hurts me a great deal worse since I have taken such a severe cold. I have never reported sick, yet some days I am not able to walk 2 miles. We have no duty to do, except inspection and guard duty and not much of that. if we had to drill much or march much I would be compelled to give up and report sick or unfit for duty. I cannot tell you anything positive about the war. We have orders for General Lee to be ready at all times. To march to battle at a moments warning. Therefore, we listen every morning for long role to beat. I am unable to say whether we will have a fight soon or not. There is a great many men getting furloughs now. It seems by that our leading men does not think that we may never have another fight. We suffer enough without fighting. Tongue cannot express how bad we fair out here, but O how thankful I will be to my maker if I am spared to see peace made and get home to you and our dear litle children, there to have rest from my pains and trouble during this unfriendly war. July, you wrote to me that you wanted me to come home. I cannot tell you when I will come home as there is so many here that claim a furlough before me and all these that have been home since they left the coast. I want you to let me know in your next letter, when you expect to be confined and if I am spared I will use every exertion to get a furlough to come home about that time. July, if you have not had the new ground cleaned of yet, you would better have the bushes cut and piled and get some person to help you and have it burned of before the March winds come and have all the land broke up as soon as you can that you have at home and if you are of mind to, you may get a few acres more to tend from your Pa or some other person if you think it will pay. Be shore (sure) and let me know how you like that Negro when you write and let me know whether you have got our sheep or not. When you get them you better keep them up till they bring lambs, drive or take them up to that little field and change them about as much as you can and do not neglect giving them and old Susie salt occasionally. July, I have understood from Doc, since I have been here, that old... Fort offered to sell that Negro witch Daniel Jackson has hired for six hundred dollars. I want you to find out whether he will take four hundred $ yet or not. You can ask him, when you see him in paying. if he will take that I will buy her. I have about three hundred $ coming to me independent of what I owe, which I think I will be able to collect this spring and the balance I can give good insurance for until we can make it. So be shore [sure] and find out and let me know as soon as you can. I would like very much to buy her at that price. Edwin Price has got to flouring [flowering] valentines for the boys here at such a rate that I thought I would send you a copy, so do not let it alarm you at all [Mr. Price was making stationary for the soldiers]. July, if you have received that book which I sent you, use some of it for writing paper, use it out of the last of the book and save the alphabet in the first part of the book. I bought paper ......though, paper is selling for $3.00 a.... here from the sutlers. Must bring my letter to a close as I have nothing more that will interest you at present. July, I want you to take good care of my little boys. Try to raise them right and if I never meet you and them no more on earth, I hope to meet you in heaven. May the Lord be with us in all our troubles and help us with the pleasure of meeting again before long, to stay in peace at home and raise our children and to rest from our troubles in this war. So nothing more, but remain your true and affectionate husband until death.
F E Leaphart

FE Leaphart - Letter            FE Leaphart - Letter


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