Keeping Calm by Quilting Clams and Knitting Dish Cloths!
Some years here on CollectInTexas Gal...there were so few posts posted that Winding Down August was more like Never Mind August. And, although this August is not a post record setting August, it ranks right up there with enough to merit a winding down...or maybe it's just me that needs some winding down time. After all, I have been winding, unwinding and rewinding lots of yarn for this months projects...which I am now ready to reveal....
Okay...now I am 'Gearing Up' for September!!!!
As you can probably guess, I have a yarn stash that can only be described as an accumulation beyond life expectancy. Still...I did not have all the colors in THIS yarn needed for my new design line of knitted and crocheted wearables.
Yes, I said both knitted and crocheted.
...on my Bond Knitting Machine!
I Love This Yarn....and This Knitting Machine!
Yep, time for the season opening of my 'Fall Chicken Farm Art Center Booth' on 'First Saturday, September 3rd'. I'll be raising the Pink Tent and setting up for only the second time this year. Seems like March was ages ago.
Anyway, here's a preview of what's on the blocking table, what's been in my lap, what's up with Bags and how Broaches are making a comeback.
Pfffttt, what did I care about hi-fashion when my wardrobe consisted of this black sack, white pinafore and ridiculous hat. The only likely heirloom would be this silver tray from which these 'dear ladies' are served pricked finger food.
By the end of the evening, the inventor and master salesman had orders for a half a dozen Singer Sewing Machines from mother's sewing circle friends. Confession time. The black sack dress, pinafore and hat was a bit of an exaggeration. The 'Server/Maid' outfit was worn as a sample/example of 'Maid by Maude' seamstress shop modeled by me. Maude is my mother whose pricked fingers stitch maid uniforms entirely by hand. My own pricked fingers can hardly wait for the foot powered petal machine to arrive.
Oh, and I lied...I do care about Hi-Fashion...I really do!
On this day, August 12, 1851,
Sewing Machine Patent Model No 8,294
was issued to
Isaac M. Singer
Today, August 12, 2016, 165 years later....
...I am SEW thankful my great great grandmother was an
"Your thimble, a thing for your descendants to treasure...
your stitching tomorrows heirlooms."
your stitching tomorrows heirlooms."
Spot on Isaac Singer!
Elisha and Mary Josephine Marley's Family Bible is a treasured family heirloom. Although not in my possession, the copied Births and Marriages pages are treasures and important documents in the research of my Marley Family Tree.
I wonder which of my great great grandparents did the record keeping. If I had to guess, it would be Mary Josephine, judging from the neat precise and somewhat feminine penmanship.
Regardless of which one did the entries, it seems only one of them did so, again, judging from the penmanship.
Elisha and Mary Josephine were married on January 5, 1876, and perhaps their Family Bible was a wedding gift, as was often the tradition in the 1800's. However, I like to think it happened this way....
As Elisha stokes the fire in the stone fireplace, he glances over at his wife sitting nearby. Her legs and feet are warmly covered in an afghan she finished just as the first frost fell in Calhoun County, Arkansas. He watched her as the light of the fire cast it's warm glow on her face...intent on the knitting in her hands.
Mary Jo looked up from her knitting and smiled at her husband of almost a year. They sat in comfortable silence for awhile. Mary jo continued to knit on the blanket and thought of the baby it would cover in just three months time.
Her thoughts turned to concerns of a first time mother. Things like would she have time to finish the baby clothes and blankets she had started. What about the crib she knew Elisha was making. What about a Family Bible to record this birth...the birth that would make them a family. It was then she broke the thoughtful silence and spoke to her husband. "Elisha, we should start thinking about our Family Bible".
Elisha and Mary Jo had plans to spend Christmas day at her parents home for the traditional family gathering. This being their first Christmas together, they decided to start their own family tradition of trimming the tree, sharing a special supper and exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve. It was a Sunday, that Christmas Eve of 1876, the perfect day and time for Elisha's gift to his wife and soon to be mother of his first child....a Family Bible.
And so it was written on the first three lines in a neat and precise penmanship:
E.S. Marley was born May 25, 1849
Mary Josephen Leatherwood was born May 6, 1856.
Marthy Janne Marley was born March 4, 1877.
by one who spelled like it sounded to him.
As the years went by names were added to the Family Bible's Birth records. After my great grandmother Marthy Janne...aka Martha Jane or 'Janie', her brother's name John Henry was added on October 27, 1878. Then William Samuel in 1880 followed by Annie Etter in 1882...who always spelled her name as Anna Etta. On line #7 was penned Zack Rier Marley was born Dec 15, 1883. This third son was named after his mother's grandfather Zachariah Perry Leatherwood...another clue to who's penmanship recorded births in the Family Bible. Forever more 3rd son's name would be written as Zachariah Andrew Marley.
There are now six lines left to record births. Elisha and Mary Jo's family numbers six, including themselves. All but Martha Jane were born in Jack County, Texas, where they settled along with Mary Jo's Leatherwood family. Three years went by before another name was written...George Holbert's on one of the six remaining lines. James Benjamin got the fifth remaining line, and Lue Ida the fourth...another who changed the spelling as soon as she could write...Lou Ida. Next came Wardie Bell in 1892 and Jesse Simeon in 1894. With one line left, I wonder if Mary Jo thought it time for the recording of births to end. It was not!
The names Alta and Albert were recorded on the last line on November 30, 1896. And since this was a page of Birth records, the twins death on the same day was not noted. All the lines were filled, but there would be one more birth...that of Eugene Edgar on March 14, 1899. His birth was written in the space above the filigreed border. Baby Eugene died at 17 months old in August 1900.
Thank-you Elisha and Mary Jo for carrying on the tradition of a Family Bible.
"She married a rich old man".
Those words, written by our first 'Family Historian' my Aunt Irene, came back to me as I was digging through archives both in Ancestry and Irene's notes. She wasn't sure of her spelling of Savana, but she was positive it was her grandfather's sister. Sure enough, she misspelled the name, but got the 'old man' part right. The 'rich' part?...we will see.
Until just today, I thought I had my great aunt Savannah's profile and timeline all lined up to begin writing about her for her place in Generation 4 on Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors. I didn't, but I do now...after hours of digging in that "rich old man's" archives. Savannah was not the mother of their listed first born son. Nor was she his first wife.
Here is where assuming that Ancestry's Public Family Tree's have it right, and you proceed to transfer names and dates without really paying close attention. It's easy to do when you are so excited to finally get that information. I am going to go with that as my reason for not closely scrutinizing her profile...until now. I will say though, it was a fun and challenging several hours of research....I do love a challenge!
From 1860, as a boy on his fathers farm, until 1920 'Old Man Brown' had owned his farm/farms of a modest number of acreage. After his marriage at age 43 to Savannah, age 32, his farm was substantial enough to support the couple, their sons and several of Savannah's aging, bachelor and spinster siblings that lived with them off an on for many years.
Things changed sometime before the 1920 Census which showed Mr. Brown, Savannah, son Silas, and two of Savannah's aging siblings, James and Elizabeth, living with them in East Point, Georgia, near Atlanta. Their home was mortgaged and the only wage earner was son Silas who worked for an automobile company...the others were all retired.
I suppose Aunt Irene was just as excited to learn about her aunt with the Old School tools, as I was with 21st Century technology. She noted that her information came from a family members recollection and she,"was not positive, but it seemed so, according to the way I put it down."
Did Savannah marry "a rich old man"?
I guess it's all in how you 'Put it down.'
I vaguely remembered fictionalizing those few sentences in a journal entry back in December 2011. Mattie's Journal and Letters: The Year of Mourning is a Fact-Based Fiction/Creative writing used to tell the story of my great grandfather's and his children's lives after the death of his wife and their mother. The journal/letter writer, daughter Mattie, was the oldest of the six children still at home when their mother died. She was sixteen. Lizzie May was three.
Lizzie May Pittman was born on August 7, 1892 in Cobb County, Georgia, the tenth child of Emma and George. Her oldest sister Beulah Magnolia was 23 years old...old enough to be Lizzie's mother. Between the oldest and youngest sisters were five brothers and three more sisters. There would be one more brother born two years after Lizzie...Howard Grady in May 1894. Their mother, Emma June died the next year on May 4, 1895, the day before Howard Grady's first birthday.
Besides that one entry in Mattie's Journal, there has been nothing written about Lizzie May, until now. Primarily due to the writing timeline established on Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors where her father George Washington is scheduled last in Generation 4...now in progress.
On her ancestry profile there are only four 'Date Facts' with the first being her birthdate on August 7, 1892. The next fact entry is the birth of her brother Howard Grady and the third is the death of her mother in 1895. The last date is one of speculation which has little or no possibility of being otherwise....her death...stated as 'Before 1898'. Accepting that as the last 'Fact' on her profile without giving some explanation for a 'sweet little girl' who remembered her sister at bedtime prayers is not how I can leave Lizzie May's story...factual or otherwise.
Neither Lizzie May or Howard Grady appear in any of the documentation prior to or after their father George Washington left Cobb County Georgia about 1898. Two documents attest to their absence. First, in the Texas Marriage Collection of 1899. George married a widow from Tennessee in Comanche, Mason County, Texas. Their listing in the 1900 US Census combined their two families with all names listed including his daughters Mattie (18), Ruth (13) and sons George L. (21), Howell Cobb (10) and wife Nancy's children Annie (16), Mary (13) and Mattie (10).
It would not be far fetched to explore the idea that the two youngest, Lizzie and Grady, could have been taken in by one of their older siblings who had established marriages and homes in Cobb County, Georgia. However, their names have not been found in connection with any documents of this time period or any later ones. So what happened to Lizzie May and Howard Grady?
In 1897 there was an outbreak of Typhoid Fever all along the Southern states. By1898 the US Government concluded typhoid fever had reached epidemic status among civilians and military stateside camps training for the Spanish American War. The outbreak was particularly rampant in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
Could their deaths have gone undocumented in an epidemic of deaths?
Could their burial places beside their mother in the Howell Family Cemetery have gone unmarked?
Oh, the questions of speculation with no ready answers to be found. But know this 'Sweet Little Lizzie May'.....
You are remembered by me
For we all carry inside us,
Those who came before us.
Photo disclaimer...Photos not intended to represent anyone named in this post.