22 February 2014

Betty Dolores Huyler (52 Ancestors)

     I'm participating in the 52 Ancestors Challenge in Ahnentafel order, so week seven is about my maternal grandmother (Grandmama).

     Betty Dolores Huyler was born in Atlanta in 1931 to Very "Mack" Huyler and Ruby Lee Waters.  Her parents separated almost immediately after her birth, and Betty was raised in large part by her maternal grandparents, aunts and uncles.  She grew up partly in Atlanta and partly in Greenville, South Carolina, mainly in mill villages.  At some point in her childhood she was hit by a car and almost killed.  This affected her memories of her younger years.

     Betty married young, at only 15 years old, and did not finish school.  She was a homemaker, but she also wanted to work and help support her family when money was tight.  When her husband, Roy, was away working as a truck driver, Betty actually got a job a time or two.  But Roy would come home and find out and, at least once, actually when to her job and brought her home.

     She was a woman of many hobbies.  Betty often taught herself new crafts, such as crochet, gardening, and ceramics painting.  The homes of her children and grandchildren are now home to many of her creations.  She was also a fan of science fiction, in books, tv and movies.  She got her various children and grandchildren hooked on Dr Who, Harry Potter and Robert Jordan.

21 February 2014

Squad No. 10

     Throughout the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, I've been researching my soldier ancestors.  There are a few men in my family tree who were of the right age to fight, but for whom I have not found any record of service.   One of those men is David Jefferson Witt, born 1833 in Abbeville, South Carolina.

     In 1864, David would have been a 31 year old farmer with a wife and three sons.  Given his age, if he didn't volunteer, he would have been conscripted unless he could afford to buy a substitute.  Considering that in the 1860 census he was listed as an "overseer," I doubt that he could afford to do so.  David never reported a physical or mental disability on any census record, so I just don't think he avoided joining the war.  Considering this, I occasionally search for evidence of his service.

     Today, I ran a search for David in the newspapers of Chronicling America.  I came up with an interesting, but confusing result from 1865:


     I'm pretty sure that the David J Witt mentioned is my guy.  But what is Squad No. 10 of the Supporting Forces?  Is this a local militia?  I'm going to have to put in some time and research what David was up to.

18 February 2014

DAR Meeting and an Application Update

     I attended my second DAR meeting this last weekend.  It was much like the previous one, and I'm really getting the feel for how things work.

     Last time I attended I was confused about signing in, but this time there were clearly labeled sign in sheets for members, guests and perspective members.  I'm still filling out a "Hello, my name is" name tag, but I now know a few of the other ladies to say hello to.

     This meeting's speaker was Tom Poland, a writer who specializes in the south, and more specifically the area from Lincoln County, Georgia to Columbia, South Carolina.  I have family from Lincoln County, so I'm going to look into his work to see if he might have written anything of interest to me.  He gave out some tips and suggestions for writing, such as how to find topics: get in your car and drive the back roads; the highway is generic and boring.

     Two more members were inducted during the meeting and apparently there are 11 applications that have been sent in for review, including my own.  The registrar thinks I'll have my member number by May, which is longer than she originally thought.  All this bad weather seems to have kept the DAR offices closed more than is normal.  I won't be attending next month's meeting, which happens to fall on my birthday.  Instead, I'll be at a living history weekend at Andersonville NHS.

17 February 2014

Roy Vernon Albea, Sr (52 Ancestors)

     I'm participating in the 52 Ancestors Challenge in Ahnentafel order, so week six is about my maternal grandfather (Grandaddy).  And once again, I'm getting behind!

   They say that twins run in the family, and if so my Grandaddy, Roy Albea, Sr, is the reason that I'm a twin.  He and his brother, Ray, were born in 1926 to Charles Vernon Albea and Auline Witt in Greenwood, South Carolina.  He and his brother contracted pneumonia when they were only six months old.  His brother succumbed and the doctor told Auline that Roy would not survive either.  Auline wasn't willing to loose both of her sons, so she told the doctor to leave and took care of Roy herself.  Thanks to his mother and older sisters' care, Roy survived.

     His parents worked in the textile mills throughout the area, and, against his mother's wishes, he quit school at 16 to work full time.  When he was 20 years old, he first met Betty Huyler and that very day declared that he would marry her.  The couple moved around for a few years, with Roy moving from job to job (as his father had always done) before Betty put her food down and demanded that Roy find a job and stick with it.  He found a job as a truck driver in Atlanta and stayed with the company until retirement.  He had a perfect safety record.


10 February 2014

Testing - What's Going On?

     I logged into blogger today and this blog was missing from my dashboard.  Then I noticed something new on the left side of the screen: underneath where it says "Your Blogs," there is now a link that says "Locked Blogs."  What?

     So I clicked and found this blog listed with a note saying that it "is in violation of Blogger's Terms Of Service."  That's all, no details provided.  What terms were violated?  

     I clicked a button that said "Request Unlock Review," but all that did was send a code to my phone which I entered online... Then nothing.  Some details would be appreciated here.

     So I'm posting this as something of a test.  Because, aside from being listed as locked, everything seems the same.  I don't know what's going on.  You'd think Blogger/Google would have contacted me, right?  This is frustrating.

04 February 2014

Sarah Frances Britt (52 Ancestors)

     I'm participating in the 52 Ancestors Challenge in Ahnentafel order, so week five is about my paternal grandmother (Granny).

     Sarah Frances "Sottie" Britt was born in Emanuel County, a very rural area of middle-Georgia.  Her family were farmers and everyone was involved in picking cotton.  When Sarah was a teen, her parents separated and shed moved to Elbert County, Georgia, with her father and brother.  She met her husband, Thomas Craft, when he was driving her school bus!  They were married when she was only 14, though she claimed to be 19 on the license.  Sarah had seven children, oven a span of 22 years.  She was still having kids when her kids started having kids!

     I've never really outright asked for details on my Granny's career, so I guess I need to do so.  I know that at some point she was working (part-time?) for a local Package Store near her home and that she used to return to Elbert County to help pick cotton even after the family moved to Metro Atlanta.  I've always just assumed that she spent her younger married years as a housewife/farmer's wife - but I guess I need to ask about it.

     I remember my Granny as a very spunky and opinionated woman.  She was not afraid to speak her mind!  She was also very loving to her grandkids though.  One summer she watched my sister and I quite often.  We would watch 'Dances With Wolves' or 'Mrs Doubtfire,' eat cheese sandwiches made from cheese we had to slice off a block ourselves.  There were always snickers bars in the top kitchen drawer, Cokes in the fridge and mints in the candy dish.

     Also, she hated her middle name with a passion.

03 February 2014

Off Topic: Sketchuary

     I saw that my DNA Cousins/Facebook Friends, Stephanie and Virginia, were participating in Sketchuary.  The goal is to make a sketch or drawing every day in February.  I can hardly finish any of the projects and challenges I'm currently working on, so I figured: why not?  I got started on the 2nd, but the final week is "doubles week," which allows you to make up lost days.

     I decided to make use of a journal that I had purchased but not started yet, and combine sketches and journaling.  I figured this will help me get back journaling and help provide ideas for sketches.  I've also decided to fill in my sketches with watercolor, which I think really allows me to create what I imagine when I first set pencil to paper.

     I don't really see myself as an artist, so much as artistic.
  I like to create, though I don't feel like I am particularly skilled.  I don't have much experience with drawing, though I've done some in the past (half an art class in college) and was pretty happy with the results.  But by definition, sketches aren't intended to be finished masterpieces; I feel like the expectations are lower.  I can't mess this up!

02 February 2014

Thomas Spurgeon Craft (52 Ancestors)

     I'm participating in the 52 Ancestors Challenge in Ahnentafel order, so week four is about my paternal grandfather (Pawpaw).  It's a week behind, but I'm working on catching up !

     Thomas Spurgeon Craft was born 26 Dec 1919 in Elbert County, Georgia (though some records indicate neighboring Hart County).  He was the oldest child of Bennie Craft and Ruth Evans, who were farmers.  To help the family recovering from the Great Depression, Thomas joined the CCC and served in Albemarle, North Carolina as a cook.  I've heard that his dad bought a car with the money Thomas sent home for the family.  After coming home from the CCC, he continued to farm and do other jobs in the community.  He married Sarah Britt and, with three children at home, was drafted to fight in World War II.  Luckily he served in Europe after most fighting had ended and was home soon.  He moved the family to Atlanta soon after, where he got a job at Atlantic Steel.  He also ran his own sanitation company, until the county took over all residential services.

     My most personal memory of my grandfather is of him giving me and my sister rides on his John Deere riding mower.  He had attached an extra seat to the side and would give us rides around the yard.

   I was always curious about my grandfather's middle name: Spurgeon.  I'd tried googling before and came up empty, but for some reason when I did it just now, I found something.  There was a British preacher named Charles Spurgeon who was apparently pretty famous.  He died in the 1890s, around the time Thomas' mother was born.  Spurgeon was a Baptist preacher and many generations of the Craft and associated families attended the Rock Branch Baptist Church.  My guess is that my grandfather was named for the famous preacher.


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