This photo of her was in my Great Grandmother Martha Jane Marley Carroll's Photo Album, and even though her name was clearly written on the back, I somehow couldn't bring myself to admit that anyone could be named Palmyra.
Honestly, I really wanted this photo to be of my Great Great Grandmother Mary Josephine Leatherwood Marley, as I didn't have and couldn't find a photo of her anywhere.
You would think Martha Jane would have at least one picture of her own Mother.
Finally, I resigned myself to the fact that it was not Josephine, and put it in the back of the 'Old Photo Album'. However, the name really stuck in my head and I decided to give it a Google!
Did you know that Palmyra was an ancient city in Syria? In the age of antiquity, it was an important city of central Syria located in an oasis northeast of Damascus and southwest of the Euphrates. It had been a vital caravan city for travellers crossing the Syrian desert and was known as the 'Bride of the Desert.
So how did a girl born in Tennessee, come to be named after an Ancient City in Syria,
and end up as one of my Texas Ancestors?
I have NO CLUE why her parents, Stephen B. and Katharine Ann Akin Carroll, gave her the name Palmyra.
(I could however, come up with some really outrageous story about Shieks and Belly Dancers,
but I won't go there...right now)
Here is how Palmyra J. Akin Thedford from Tennessee became my Texas Ancestor...
She was the Aunt of my Great Grandfather Stephen Bennett Carroll
pictured here with his wife Martha Jane Marley Carroll and their children in 1900.
Born Palmyra J. Akin on November 7, 1845.
Raised in Dyer County, Tennessee
Married John A. Thedford on January 9, 1867
Mother of Naomi B. Thedford born in 1876
Moved to Cleburne City, Johnson County, Texas
(1900 US Federal Census Records)
Died June 17, 1912 in Texas
Buried Cleburne Memorial Cemetery- Cleburne, Texas
Sluethin'Sue that's my Detective Trackin' name, and as I was Trackin' Stephen's timeline, in the 1880 Census, I noticed a Richard Akin on the original document. Richard and family lived on the farm next to Stephen's parents and had his mothers maiden name...Akin.
You must remember that the Census Takers knocked on every door and hand wrote with a quill pen, and spoke with whoever answered the door. Therefore, spelling and handwriting errors are common on the original documents, and the reason that the Census Forms have been digitized and corrected with the Original Census shown. I always look at the original...they are an amazing piece of history.
Speaking of History, I should wrap this up so it can become part of CollectInTexas Gals' Tracks of My Texas Ancestors History.
So here I am, nose to my PC Screen decoding the Census Takers handwriting
and overlooking the spelling when
The Bride of the Desert
PS...Update on Palmyra's direct decendents. Sadly, it appears that Palmyra and John had only one surving child, Naomi who died in 1902...ten years before her Mother. From all records and indications, Naomi never married and lived with her parents most if not all of her life. So it seems that Palmyra 'Bride of the Desert' story and family heritage will be carried on through her Nephews and Nieces...or as in my case 2nd Great Grand Niece! I am honored.