Sympathy Saturday....Paperback Novel 'Widow of the South'

I write this post as the great granddaughter of a Confederate soldier and historian of a family whose lives were lived before, during and after the Civil War.  I write this as one who is interested in the history of, not only the Civil War period, but of our country's history from the Colonials to present day.

I've included this post in GeneaBloggers Sympathy Saturday as an opportunity to share a recently acquired paperback, The Widow of the South. (link to book and author...HERE).  Brief synopsis from back cover...Carnton Plantation, 1894:  Carrie McGavock is an old woman who tends the graves of almost 1,500 soldiers buried.  As she walks among the dead, an elderly man appears...the same soldier she met that fateful day long ago.  Today, he asks if the cemetery has room for one more.

The cover of this book caught my eye as I scanned through dozens of shelves in a used book shop.  After reading the back cover and learning it was based on a true story, I knew it had to be added to the stack of TBR (to be read) paperbacks.  Paperbacks...the other reason for writing this post.

Yes, I have a collection of paperbacks...not for collection sake or value, but for research and for the joy of reading...as time allows...reason for TBR Stack!  In this day and age most of my reading time is done right here on the computer.  And as amazing as it is to have information at the click of a button and have it flow through my fingertips to this virtual paper, I still love holding a book and turning pages.

Paperbacks are also known as softback or softcover books.   In the early 19th century improvements in the printing, publishing and book marketing made paperbacks available and affordable.

 In early 20th Century America, the term pocket book became synonymous with paperback, and the mass-market of paperbacks took off.  The first mass-marketed paperback printed in the US was an edition of The Good Earth by Pearl Buck and today it is highly collectible.

I don't know about you, but I browse paperbacks not by their title or author, but by their cover.  As it turns out, once publishers realized the importance of cover art as the main selling feature of paperbacks, a whole new area for graphic artist, genre writers and collectors was born.  Some collectors bought paperbacks solely based on their cover. 

I have only just begun reading Widow of the South. And although my intention was to read it for the pleasure of holding and turning pages,  it has already added information to my Georgia ancestors research.  One of my Confederate cousins died at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee. 
A true contradiction of the adage...'You can't judge a book by it's cover.'


Facebook Challenge...7 Days of Love and Marriage

Here we are today...Day 7 of Love Your Spouse Photo Challenge and 18,451 days of marriage...50 years 6 months and 29 days.  Here are 3 quotes that have worked for us:

#l  "Don't marry the person you think you can live with: marry only the individual
you think you can't live without."
#2.  "A successful marriage requires falling in love many times,
always with the same person."
and from Lyndon B. Johnson #3. 
" I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. 
First let her think she's having her own way.  And second, let her have it."
In other words..."Happy wife...Happy Life!
For us, and hopefully for all...it works both ways!

Day 6 Love Your Spouse Photo Challenge
BackInTheDay...Summer 1966, We had our portraits done at Six Flags Over Texas.
Day 5 Love Your Spouse Photo Challenge
On the Road Selfie.
Day 4 Love Your Spouse Photo Challenge
Wherever life has taken us, we put down roots and plant seeds. 
Our harvests have been bountiful...mostly with flowers...and the expected few weeds.
Day 3 Love Your Spouse Photo Challenge
We are a TEAM!
I am his biggest FAN!  He is my greatest SUPPORTER!
We both wore GREEN!
Day 2 Love Your Spouse Photo Challenge
Homecoming 1970
He is my Hero. 
Without his service our country and lives would not be the same.
He is my Hero, and I am honored in marriage to have his name.
Day 1 Love your Spouse Photo Challenge
1966...1st Year of Marriage
I am so glad to have this guy to love!
Wish I still had those boots!


Hello Kitty...

...I found you!
After years of searching through thousands of names in my Family Tree on ancestry...I found 'Kitty'.   Not on ancestry, but of all places...in my Aunt Irene's notes...

..."Frank Carroll -Tennessee (probably) brother of Steve Bennitt Carroll, visited M.J. Carroll in Treadway, Texas.  He was selling white Rotary Sewing Machines.  He had a handwriting as that in a penmanship school book.  Frank Carroll, on this visit, spoke of sister 'Kitty' whom Mary Ella Carroll favored - (physical resemblance)."

There it was, the name 'Kitty'.  I have read and re-read that paragraph many times.  I missed 'Kitty' perhaps because I was so intent on researching and trying to identify Abner Franklin Carroll, who Irene referred to as Frank Carroll.

The photo of Kitty is from my Great Grandmother Martha Jane Marley Carroll's 1900's Album, and has been on my 'Unknown' list for years.  All along I felt she had to be related to Great Grandfather Stephen Bennett Carroll, but a sister?  Not on his ancestry profile along with Frank and twin brothers Ely and Charlie.  The closest name to Kitty was the Carroll brothers grandmother Katherine.  So who is Kitty?  It's back to ancestry's search!

She was....Katherine Elizabeth 'Kitty' Carroll Arnett.  Born in 1884 in Dyer County, Tennessee.   Married Joseph E. Arnett on Christmas Eve in 1903.  Mother of daughters Christine and Reba and son Corliss B. Arnett.  Listed in US Census from 1910 through 1940 (last Census released).   On Find A Grave, she Rests In Peace beside her husband Joseph in Fairview Cemetery, Newbern, Dyer County, Tennessee.  Inscription on stone...married Dec. 24, 1903...no birth date, no death date, no links to any Carroll Family.  Kitty's husband died in 1961, daughter Christine in 1974, daughter Reba in 1989, and son Corliss in 1978.  No mention of 'Kitty' in any of their profiles after the 1940 Census.

What a mystery!  Even knowing her full name and year of birth, I have not found a single clue as to who her parents were.  After hours of researching any and all Carrolls who could possibly be her parents, I am considering the idea that Kitty may have been adopted by Stephen and Frank's parents Seymour Douglas and Julia Carroll. 

Their youngest son Frank was born in 1881, and after four boys, perhaps they wanted a sister for Frank to grow up with as his brothers were all much older.  Somehow that scenario fits the time period, Franks mentioning of her, and Martha Jane knowing Kitty as her sister-in-law.

What is even more promising from this scenario is the resemblance of Kitty's young picture (blurry as it is) to another 'Unknown' photo in the Album. Could it be that Kitty and her daughters came to Texas to visit Frank?
It could have happened! 


Earthly and Virtual Resting Places

As a 'Family Historian/Genealogist', I spend quite a lot of time in Cemeteries.  Some of them are of this earth cemeteries like Tamarisk Cemetery in Grandfalls, Texas, where my great grandfather settled after migrating to Texas from Georgia in the late 1890's.

As many earthly cemeteries as I have visited over the years, the number does not come close to the 'Virtual Cemeteries' I have searched, researched and even established. 

Where are these 'Virtual Cemeteries'?  They are in the 'Cloud'...as technology calls it, and isn't that a perfect place for our heavenly loved ones and ancestors.

 In virtual reality, these cemeteries are located on a website called Find A Grave.  It is a free resource for finding the final resting place of famous folks, friends and family members.  With millions of names and thousands of cemeteries world wide, it's an invaluable tool for genealogy research and a place for establishing Memorials.   HERE is the home page for Find A Grave.  HERE is my Contributor Page with my Family Virtual Cemeteries.  It is there where Great Grandfather George and Great Grandmother Emma rest in peace together even though their earthly burial places are thousands of miles apart.

When I am on the road or visiting family and friends, I often come across old cemeteries.  Such was the case last week while visiting my sister in New Braunfels, Texas.  Always it is the oldest graves, their headstones and iron work fences that captures my interest and the eye of my camera.  As you can see, I was not the only visitor that day. 

On occasion I have come across graves with sea shells, but these two are the first ones I have seen where the mound was completely covered.  I was curious about why?  Are you?

The practice of covering graves was quite common across the South in the Victorian era...particularly in the costal areas of Texas.  The types of shells used are commonly referred to as cockleshells.

There are several theories on why they were used including one about the economics of the time.  Another relates to those who came to America by sea. They said the sea had brought them to their new country and the sea would return them to their homeland when they died.  Also interpreted symbolically as to ensure a safe journey to that unknown shore where everlasting life is possible.

Another thought on loose shells placed around a grave, is as a visible reminder that the person buried below continues to be remembered and honored by those still living.  Along those same lines, some say seashells are a symbol of Christianity that symbolize a person's journey through life.

Then there is the practical and traditional method of marking a grave during the early years after the Civil War.  The shells were used as a means of protecting grave site mounds from washing away in the rain.  When shells were laid as one would lay shingles or a tile roof, they would protect the earthen mound, and they were decorative, as well.
Perhaps not as decorative as a bouquet of pansies,
but lovely and thoughtful all the same.


I Shall Crochet Sea Shells...

...Oh, how I wish it was by the Sea Shore!

The best I can hope for here in West Texas is by the rocks and docks at Lake Nasworthy!   Not happening here in the middle of hot July!  It's hot enough sitting in my air conditioned nest with a lap full of yarn.  Not complaining, mind you...just sayin'.

Truth be told, for the last three months my 'Nest' has been a Yarning Shawl-A-Rama!  This Sea Shell Wrap is #6 to come off of my zippity-do-da J crochet hook.  Just started this in gray and black this evening.  These colors are not my favorites, but....I have this yarn!

These are my favorite colors and they are finished.  All for the Love of Crochet...and Shawls.  It's my Crochet World...at least while I'm on a Crochet Roll which has the potential for another 'OverDoSue Shawl-A-Rama!  My last 'Shawl-A-Rama netted 3 crocheted and 3 knitted shawl/wraps which I unearthed while re-organizing my Yarn-A-Rama Stash.  All six of them finished except for weaving in the ends, edging and blocking.  grrrrrr....not my favorite thing to do, so they got stashed in the my 'Scarlet O'Hara Bag'...you know the one that says, "Oh, fiddledeedee, I'll think about doing that another day."
Pretty proud of my 'Get Er Done-ness' on these three Triangle Shawls.  Did I mention there are two others in progress besides the Sea Shell one started today?  Yikes, there I've gone and fessed up to already being in a full blown 'OverDoSue' mode.  I blame it on getting bored with just one at a time, and justify it with, "Oh fiddledeedee, I'll worry about that tomorrow!"


Spinster Seamstress Sisters

At age 15 Mary Jane was declared a spinster by Assistant Marshal E.K. Walsh, enumerator of Wilkes County North Carolina's 1860 Census.  She was listed with her family of father-occupation farmer, mother-occupation housekeeper,  older single sister-occupation seamstress, older brother-occupation farm laborer and brothers Elisha 11yrs and baby William.

One could say Mr. Walsh may have jinxed Mary Jane's chance of ever becoming a bride, a wife, a mother and a grandmother by labeling her a spinster at such a young age.   Jinxed or not, it was her lot in life to be a daughter, sister and aunt.  The same life was in store for the older sister enumerated as a seamstress.

Mary Jane and Martha were the daughters of Henry and Jane Marley and sisters of my 2x great grandfather Elisha Smith Marley.   By all indications and records, Mary Jane and Martha were devoted sisters and aunts to their brothers and to their nieces and nephews except for one...Elisha. 

Elisha left Wilkes County, North Carolina in the early 1870's, and as the story is told by his siblings descendants...never to be heard from again.  Although, Mary Jane and Martha did not contribute to the Marley descendant pool, their Wilkes County brothers did.  And so did Elisha in Jack County, Texas.

As devoted daughters and sister, Martha and Mary Jane lived with their parents and brother William until their deaths.  After mother Jane's death in the late 1870's, the 'Spinster Sisters' became housekeepers and farm laborers...according to the 1880 Census.  After their father's death at age 91, not long after being enumerated in the 1900 Census, Martha and Mary Jane continued to live on the family farm with their now 'Head of House' brother William, 42 years of age. 

William, apparently a bachelor, died sometime between 1900 and 1910 as the two sisters were listed together without William in 1910.  According to Wilkes County Deed Records, spinster Mary Jane Marley bought 100 acres of land from E.K. Walsh. (what an ironic/coincidental twist of Census takers labeling)

By the time the 1910 Census was taken Mary Jane (64)and Martha (69) lived on Mary Jane's farm keeping house and most likely doing what they had always done, sewing and handwork.  They were still close to family with their brother George's son farming the land next to Mary Jane's.   It would be several more years before they would learn of the whereabouts of their last living brother.

The contact would have been sometime in 1914 when Elisha corresponded with his sister Mary Jane.  (This piece of information was jotted down on notes about Elisha taken in 1972 by family historian, Aunt Irene.)

Mary Jane Marley died on March  28, 1915 at age 69.  Her death certificate lists cause of death as 'Lagripe' or what is now called influenza.  Although the certificate places Mary Jane in Wilkes County and correctly lists her parents, the informant was not a family member and incorrectly states her burial site.  However, and interestingly, says the Undertaker will be 'home folks'.  Her unmarked grave is thought to be in the same cemetery as her parents, siblings, nieces, nephews and other family members in Beaver Creek Advent Church Cemetery, Wilkes County, North Carolina.

Perhaps of all the people who attempted to label Mary Jane from spinster to daughter, sister, aunt, seamstress to farmer and housekeeper, the informant on her death certificate stated her occupation perfectly....
Martha died July 16, 1921, at age 81.  According to her death certificate, the cause of death was gastro intestinal related with the contributing factor of old age.  For whatever reason, Martha was not buried in the same cemetery as her parents, siblings and other family members including her lifetime 'Spinster Sister'.  Her place of burial is Mt. Zion Adventist Church Cemetery.  Her nephew and namesake of her father and brother was the informant...he stated her occupation as housekeeper.   Surely he meant to state....Handwork!
Sadly, Mary Jane, Martha and Elisha were not to see each other again on this earth.  However, he did return to North Carolina in 1929 at the age of 80.  He would live another 12 years and rests in peace in Borden County Texas beside his wife Mary Josephine Leatherwood Marley.  No doubt he remembered fondly and missed his sisters as he named his oldest and first born child after the both of them....Martha Jane Marley...my great grandmother. 
Like her namesake aunts, she too, did Handwork!
Photo Disclaimer:  Photos from Old Photo Collection of CollectInTexas Gal.  Not intended to be representative of any person named in this post.  Used as representative of the period and in the interest of the story line.


Off The Back Burner

My Genealogy Blogs have been on the 'Back Burner' for almost two years.  Now with time to dedicate to the completion of the Fourth Generation of Georgia ancestors...I might be able to wrap up Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors.  That is not to say their 'Tracks' have ended...on the contrary...their tracks can and will be traced from Georgia across the Southern States to Texas. 
The Fourth Generation is the generation of my great grandfather.  It is entitled the 'Antebellum Era', and includes the histories of his siblings...my great aunts and uncles.  This era is set apart from earlier generations with the advent of better documentation through the US Census', newspapers, court records and the Civil War history.  All of those research tools have given 'The Fourth Generation' writings/stories details and facts to substantiate the history of their lives.  The following link will take you to Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors.
In my defense....



Ancestor Born On The 4th of July

Finding an ancestor born on the 4th of July took me back to Colonial America and my paternal 2x great grandmother's maiden name.  The name is fourth in line in my Pittman, Carroll, Marley, Leatherwood Family Tree on ancestor.com.  Out of 1,550 names there was just this one person born on the 4th of July.

Fannie Frances Leatherwood was born in the midst of turmoil leading up to the Revolutionary War.  Her parents, Zachariah and Mary Nancy Stone Leatherwood of Prince William, Virginia Colony, had endured the effects of the French and Indian War, the Sugar and Currency Acts of 1764.

 Five years before her birth violent demonstrations against the Stamp Act occurred.  These demonstrations resulted in the Virginia Resolve and ultimately in the Stamp Act Congress which petitioned Parliament and King George to repeal the Act. 

In the months before her birth in 1770, were two major conflicts between the Colonist and the British in what would become the American Revolution.  The Battle of Golden Hill in January 1770 between British soldiers and the colonists known as the Sons of Liberty took place in New York. The second incident which was widely propagandized by leading Patriots like Paul Revere and Samuel Adams was the Boston Massacre.  On March 5, 1770 British soldiers killed five civilian men and injured six others after a mob formed in protest of Parliamentary Legislation. 

The Leatherwood family survived the American Revolution as residents of Prince William, Virginia, and in the late 1790's migrated to Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Frances along with husband John Edwards and their children followed her parents to South Carolina then to North Carolina and eventually settled in Jackson/Bartow County, Georgia.

Their settlement in Jackson County is somewhat of a Family Tree coincidence as this was one of the home counties of the Pittman's, who five generations later would become related through the Texas marriage of my paternal Leatherwood-Marley-Carroll grandmother to my Georgia born Pittman grandfather.  Jackson County was changed to Bartow County in 1861 in honor of Colonel Francis S. Bartow.

Frances Leatherwood married John Edwards on October 6, 1871 in Prince William, Virginia, a veteran of the American Revolution.   Frances and John had eleven children.  John died in 1838, just three years after settling in Georgia.  Frances was last listed in the 1850 US Census when she was 81 years of age.

Although her exact death date is not known, she and John's burial markers are most likely lost in the abandoned grave yard at Pettite Creek Cemetery near what is now Bartow County, Georgia. 

Only one grave marker remains...that of their son Colonel Zachariah Edwards who was celebrated as the most popular man in Spartanburg on July 4, 1832...his mother's 61st birthday. 

On this July 4, 2016 I honor and celebrate my 6x Great Aunt Frances' 246th Birthday.  Thanks for the remarkably patriotic Family History, Fannie Frances Leatherwood Edwards.  Rest in Heavenly Peace and know you are remembered in the Pittman-Carroll-Marley-Leatherwood Family Tree.

PS...As was the tradition, children were often named after family members.  Fannie and Frances/Francis were given names of both girls and boys in the Leatherwood Family.  In the realm of the 'Meaning of Given Names',  Fannie/Frances/Francis means FREE, and people with this name value truth and justice.  What a fitting name for a child 'Born on the 4th of July'.


America's In My Family Tree

What's in a name? Everything! The power of a name and its value has long been immortalized in prose, poetry, and religious ceremony. Everyone recognizes himself or herself by name.
What's in the name America?
~The first name of America gives one an eagerness for knowledge and an intense desire to do something worthwhile in life.
~A person named America longs for freedom from restrictions and for outlets from restlessness, and does not tolerate drudgery and monotony.
~America, it isn't easy for you to take advice, therefore, you tend to work independently.
~You suffer inner turmoil especially when you feel misunderstood, and being sensitive, you are easily hurt and offended.
~Many people do not realize that you have a depth to your nature resulting from having thought a lot about life in many facets.
America's in my Georgia Family Tree

America Taylor Pittman
Nov. 16, 1805 - Aug. 24, 1872
daughter of
James Greene and Martha Patsy Taylor Pittman 
America Harden Pittman
1820 ~ 1870
daughter of
Jefferson and Rachel Harden Pittman 
Martha America Pittman
Feb. 22, 1836 ~ March 19, 1898
daughter of
Pleasant Owen and Susannah Benton Pittman 
Martha America Cash
April 16, 1839 ~ July 1904
daughter of
Benjamin Woods and America Taylor Pittman Cash
As was the custom and tradition in the early 1800's, children were named after close relatives.  Such was the case with three of these America's.  America Taylor was the first to bear a name that reflected her father's service in the Revolutionary War, his love of country and dedication as a Georgia statesman.  America Harden and Martha America Pittman were named after their Aunt America Taylor, and Martha America Cash after her mother, the first America.
As most 'Trend/Fad' names do, the name 'America' in the Pittman Family Tree ended with Martha America Cash...so far in the research. However, the pride and patriotism of our early ancestors in 'America' has not waivered.

 Our love of Country and Flag is still a tradition as seen in the 'Sleeping Baby on Stars and Stripes' photo.

That sleeping baby, a descendant of the first America, is today a Pittman American Beauty from Texas.