Update about blog

Summertime in Black Mountain

My other blogs: Alchemy of Clay
Three Family Trees...the Swasey, Booth and Rogers families, now being published every other day or so...

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Eugenia Witty Booth's next younger sister

Marshall, TX : Three Oaks Bed&Breakfast, Marshall, Texas
Modern B&B in Marshall Texas

Laura Dove Witty Patty was born on 29 Mar 1854, in Marshall Texas.  This is where my great great grandmother Eugenia Witty Booth also was born just 2 years earlier. 

 Then by 1860 the family settled a new area in Hill County, much further west.  Actually their father, Carroll Witty had purchased land and "settlers began moving into the area about 1850, and the community was established in 1857."  I note that the Hillsboro Historic Association doesn't have any records of him...which seems interesting somehow.  (More on Hill County tomorrow when the Witty's family has settled there.)

But let's go back to Marshall, which was founded in 1841 as the seat of Harrison County, in East Texas, and was incorporated in 1843.
, photo by photo by Fred Springer
Texas and Pacific Railroad station

Marshall quickly became a major city in the state because of its position as a gateway to Texas; several major stage coach lines and one of the first railroad lines into Texas ran through it. The founding of several colleges, including a number of seminaries, teaching colleges, and incipient universities, earned Marshall the nickname the Athens of Texas, in reference to the ancient Greek city state.Marshall was the first city in Texas to have a telegraph service....by 1854 the local paper had a telegraph link to New Orleans, which gave it quick access to national news. By 1860 Marshall was one of the largest and wealthiest towns in East Texas, with a population estimated at 2,000.  With slavery still prevalent for the major industry, cotton, over half the population were Blacks.

The whole Witty family had still lived in Limestone County, Alabama as of Feb 1850s census.  Carroll Witty probably settled his wife and the younger children in Marshall, by 1852 when Eugenia was born, then took his two oldest sons with him (this is pure speculation on my part) to set up a home in Woodbury, Hill County, Texas.  Then they would all have a place to live on the frontier.

 Obviously Carroll visited the Witty family in Marshall, perhaps for supplies or other reasons, including fathering Laura Dove.

Isn't that a pretty name?

She married like many young women in that time when she was 17.  Her husband was James Riley Patty, born on 14 Oct 1845 in McMinn County, Tennesse.  He had been a Corporal for the 59th  Tennessee Mounted Infantry, Company A, during the Civil War.  So he moved to Texas following the war, and was 26 when he married in 1871 in Hill County, Texas.

The Patty family included 9 children, the last one born in 1890.  The youngest, Eva Laura Fay Patty Herring, lived to be 96, dying in 1987, after having 4 children.
Early Pioneer home

Laura and her husband both died in 1935.  He died first, March 30, and she applied for pension as a Civil War widow in April of that year.  She died on Oct 5.  Her adult son who lived with her, Birch, gave information for the death certificate, saying she was still married.  He had been 50 when the 1930 census was taken, and his 45 year old sister Hettie also still lived with their parents.  Birch was employed as a grocery clerk, but Hettie didn't work outside the home.  These adult children  didn't marry or have children as far as I know.

Edith, who died at 90, their oldest child, also was living with her parents as of 1920, and she was a public school teacher.  By 1930 however she was living as a boarder in Dallas, TX, and was still teaching.  She didn't marry or have children.

Lexie Patty, their 6th child, is on a Sevier County, Tennessee Census in 1930 as a widow, with 3 sons who all have Patty as their last name.  And Lexie is the head of a household which farms, while parents who are listed must be her in-laws, Levi and Sarah Henner.  She also gives her birth as well as that of her parents as being in Tennessee (which wasn't true).  At some point in her life Lexie returned to Hill County Texas, and she died there age 84 in 1968.

Major Riley Patty...the next youngest of their children...what another interesting name!  As a child he was given Major Riley as his name, but later records just show him as Riley.  Perhaps various official persons thought the title should belong to someone who had attained that rank.  He lived from 1885 till 1951, dying at 71 years of age.  In 1940 it is interesting to note, that he lived with his brother Birch, and sisters Hettie and Lexie, in Hillsboro, Hill County Texas.

These were siblings that came back to, or never left, the home of their parents.

William Canal Patty did marry, and had 2 children, then in his fifties became an inmate of the Colorado State Hospital, where he died after 5 years at age 57.  How sad.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Crowds and parades and theme parks

When my husband, myself and our two children first moved to Tampa, Florida in Oct. 1969, within a few months, my Massachusetts resident parents had to come visit us.  So we all went to Busch Gardens.  And Dad took photos and then shared his photos later, as below.

This first one has the monorail behind us, with mother wearing her shades, Marty at 7 in a blue and red coat, and Dad actually took off his hat.  I'm wrestling with 2 year old Russ. 

And then we enjoyed some good food at the restaurants in the area...I'm not sure this was at Busch Gardens or not.  I do remember that my sister had recently moved to a farm in Tennessee and gave me all her "dressy dresses," so that's what I am wearing.  I don't think I would have bought that for myself.

My parents visited again in time to go to Walt Disney World which opened near Orlando (in 1971), about a 2 hour drive from Tampa.

I used to have all of my father's collection of the parades and shows that were at DisneyWorld. But why keep photos of people I didn't know or care about?  So I no longer have any photos of those parades, or the Bears' Jamboree. 

Here's the DisneyWorld Main Street, with Christmas Tree, and Mom's back wearing her straw hat, with me directly in front of her.  Perhaps Dad was more interested in the replica car anyway.

Marty seemed to be having a good time, looking at the camera in his upside down sideways way.

Waiting in lines, the kids sometimes got a bit impatient.

At the Space Port entrance there were some drinks available before we tried "Out of Sight" and whatever else was available.  Since this was the first year DisneyWorld opened, some of the more popular exhibits and rides were not built yet.  Epcot didn't open until 1982, for instance.

But we did enjoy the kids having fun a these two big amusement parks.  Central Florida was opening up to become a family friendly tourist attraction, rather than just the South Florida beaches.

My oldest 2 sons, who now have children of their own, have brought them to these and other attractions.

I'm entering this post in Sepia Saturday this week, with theme of crowds and parades.

...a 1917 postcard depicting a political demonstration on Nevsky Prospect in Petrograd, Russia, and as students of Russian history will know, this was right in the middle of the Russian revolution. The image comes from the Kathryn & Shelby Cullom Davis Library of the Graduate Institute of Geneva. For those in search of a theme there are, as always, plenty of options: parades, banners, and gatherings spring to mind and for those in search of a more revolutionary approach, there is always revolutions. All you need do is to post a post on or around Saturday 28th February 2015 and link it to the list below....over on Sepia Saturday!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A word from our sponsor

Sponsoring everything in my life is mother nature...which has done a great job providing beauty and inspiration today.

So I'm veering away from the family to let you see the beautiful white coating of today's snow, while we have it. (You have to ignore the derelict garage with port-a-potty in green across the street, like I do every day.)

I'm quite delighted by how the spirit house (on top of birdbath) has changed just like the rest of the world, giving different dimensions suddenly that are unexpected.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fanny Witty, next oldest sister of Eugenia Witty Booth

She was a Valentine baby, Fanny (Frances Malone) Witty Gee born on Feb. 14, 1850 in Limestone, Alabama.

Her first census listing was when she was 4 months old, and the penmanship is so illegible the transcriber calls her Thomas, though a female child.  At least by 1860, when her family had moved to Texas, she was listed as Fanny. 

She married at 17, to Richard A. Gee who had been born in 1833 in Tennessee (17 years older than she was). Some of his records say he was born in Virginia, where his parents were born.  They raised 7 children, who all lived to be adults, and had 19 grandchildren.  Some of her children and grandchidlren lived into their 90s, and one, Ethel M. Stingily, lived to 100, dying in 2013.

Many of the death certificates in the early 1900s show how hypertension was a killer in my family.  I've seen this on many Booth records.  I'm so glad there is medication now (which I can take.)

Fanny herself was 73 when she died in 1923.

One of these men is Richard Albert Gee...I don't know the other, nor which one he is.

Her husband, Richard Albert Gee (Rag, which are his initials) was a Sargent in the Confederacy, and thus received a veterans grave marker when he died in 1930 at age 96.

Next I'll look at some of Eugenia Witty's younger siblings!  Oh yes, it was a big family!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Happy Birthday Eugenia Almeda Witty Booth

Last year I posted a pretty thorough bio of my great great grandmother's life...HERE.

Yesterday was my grandmother's birthday, (on my father's side) but most of the people I've been sharing about this week have been Eugenia Almeda Witty Booth's siblings.  I had never looked into their lives before now.

But what can I add to Great Great Gran's information now?  That she died in childbirth at 25 is a piece of information that I mentioned last year.  But it sadly happened often in 1875.  She had married at 17 to a man who's first wife had also died in childbirth.

And she lived in a time when Texas was changing rapidly as well.  Her husband and father moved their families to Hemstead, Texas from at least 1875 - 1880, then back to Hillsboro, Hill County Texas by 1896, when my great grandmother, Eugenia Booth, was married there.

Her husband and father were attorneys, and probably involved in the new county courts in Hempstead Texas.  Unfortunately I can't find any 1890 census reports for either city, so I don't know where they lived at that time.  I know that after her husband died in 1879, their children went back to be raised in the grandparents home, that of William and Hannah Booth.

Her step son William (Willie) Lewis Booth, had childdren, and at least one of them had children, so I've got some more Booth cousins, though I'm not sure how step-son cousins get counted!  But they have the same great great great grandparents, so we are blood relatives of some kind!

Out of Eugenia Witty Booth's three births, only her daughter, my great grandmother, Eugenia Booth Miller, lived to be an adult, and she had 4 daughters.

Not my Booth family, but another one from Missouri, then Oklahoma and Texas, taken around 1900

Built in 1855 in Hillsboro, Hill County, Texas...the Booth Home of William Lewis Booth, father-in-law to Eugenia.  She was born in 1852 before they arrived here, as well as her next younger sister, Laura Dove Booth, born in 1854 in Marshall, TX.  I'll give you more information on her soon!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Happy Birthday Gummy

My grandmother, Ada Phillips Swasey Rogers, was born on this day in 1886, 129 years ago.  She lived until 1964.  She was quite a lady...and all her grandchildren remember her fondly.  She spent some time with her great grand children who also lived in Houston where she lived the last 24 years of her life.

She gave birth to 6 children, all except the youngest born in Galveston, TX, where she grew up herself.  But she was born in San Marcos, TX. Her youngest son was born in Fort Worth, Texas.

I wrote about her life in a lot of detail last year for her birthday HERE.

I've been showing some still photos taken from some home movies including my grandmother.

Considering these photos were taken about 1943-46, she didn't look much different to me the last 20 years of her life (but then again, I was much shorter than she was when these were taken!)

The summer of 1949 my parents, my grandparents, my Uncle Chauncey, and my cousins Claudette and Sandra and my sister and myself drove all the way from Houston to Stevens Point, Wisconsin, in two Studebakers. One had a board built across the back seat for us children to play on, or lie down for naps. That's 5 adults and 4 children.

Poppy wanted to see some of the places the Rogers family came from, including some Civil War sites...so the trip was a bit convoluted.  We also went through the Smokey Mountains to see some of the Tennessee sites where the Rogers had originally settled.  The cars over-heated several times in the mountains.  We stayed in small little motels, sometimes each room a tiny little cottage.  There are still some of those little stone buildings standing, but not in business any more.

We also wanted to visit Principia, the school in St. Louis for Christian Scientist children.  It must have impressed my parents, because we moved there to attend that school the next summer.  I met my cousins, Pat and Chris for the first time in Wisconsin, but don't remember many details.  I was only 7 that summer.

Strength and humor are the words that best describe my grandmother, as I remember her.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Another Sister of Eugenia Witty Booth

Mary Elizabeth Witty Hughes was 6 years older than my great great grandmother, Eugenia Witty Booth.

Great Aunt Mary Beth (I'm guessing that that was her name because my own sister went by that nickname as a young girl) was born in 1848, also in Alabama, the 4th child of Susan Hoke Witty and Carroll Witty.  

 In Limestone County, Alabama in 1850, the Wittys were farmers, and grandfather Joseph Hoke, age 57 was living with them as well.  At that time the next family listed in the census were Jackson Witty, a brother of Carroll Witty's, actually named Andrew Jackson Witty.  When Carroll went to Texas around 1850-52, Andrew Jackson Witty stayed in Alabama.

 But let's look at Great Aunt Mary Beth a bit more.  By 1860 she was 12 and living in Hill County, Texas.  Then when she was 19 she married Isaac Butler Hughes, who apparently went by his middle name on most records.

They had 2 children: James M. Hughes who lived just from 1867-1876, and Alice Dovie Hughes Felts, 1869-1893.

But the same year that their son died, so did Aunt Mary Beth, on July 2, 1876.  She is buried with her husband, who had died just the year before, on 10 August 1875.

 His headstone is broken, but her's has been somewhat repaired. It's interesting to note that her initial is wrong "M".  They are in the same cemetery as her parents and other family members, The Old Woodbury Cemetery, Hill County, Texas.

Issac Butler Hughes gravestone Mary Witty Hughes headstone

I was trying to find out if Alice had any children, who would be my cousins of course...but there wasn't much information on her, besides a name J. B. Felts for her husband, but no information on him.  

I did discover an interesting autobiography written by another woman named Alice Hughes, which I downloaded and read.  Since she also was born at the same time, and travelled all over the south, I may post a little of it sometime.  Her story conveys how often children would live with relatives when their parents died.  

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Eugenia Witty's oldest sister

I am happily delving into various aunts and uncles, several times great, while it's pretty cold in North Carolina for the last few days.  This won't last, and eventually spring will return, and I'll have more activities than reading various census reports and cutting/pasting photos of my ancestors (or their siblings).

It does paint a picture of the times, which is always an education for me.
So here's Eugenia Witty Booth's oldest sister to learn a bit about, Martha E. Witty Barnes.
She also was born in Limestone, Alabama, as were her 2 older brothers.  Her birthday was Sept 25, 1846.  She appears in the Limestone Alabama Census of 1850, then next in 1860 she and her family have moved all the way to Hill County, Texas, where her father was a founder of a "subdivision" which was another name for land speculation which became Woodbury Texas.

She married John L. Barnes, who was born Aug 2, 1846 also in Alabama, but I know nothing about his family.  They appeared as a household in Houston, TX in the census of 1880.

They never had any children apparently.
By the time Martha was in her 60s, she and her husband were listed twice (1907 & 1909) in a city directory for Cleburne, Johnson County, TX which is near Dallas. The 1910 Census has them living there as well.  His occupation was advertised as gardener. 

Main St, Cleburne TX 1910s
She died on April 18, 1914, and he died on May 5 of the same year.  They are buried together in Woodbury Cemetery, Hill County, Texas.  Woodbury was the town which her father had helped found.
Old Woodbury Cemetery
Old Woodbury Cemetery
 Old Woodbury Cemetery
Martha E. Witty Barnes headstone
Martha E. Witty Barnes 1846-1914

J L Barnes
John L. Barnes 1836-1914

Friday, February 20, 2015

More of Eugenia Witty's brothers

James J. Witty was just a year younger than the oldest of his siblings (which numbers 10 in all, including one set of twins).  Born in 1845 he was barely old enough to go to the war between the states for the Confederacy with his older brother, John, in 1862.

He didn't serve in the same way however, and was in the cavalry while John was in the infantry.
And he had a surviving widow who eventually applied for his war pension many years after he died.

12th Texas Calvary, W. H. Parsons Regiment , Company "A" of Hill County, TX,

His family had settled in Texas from Alabama, and his father (Carroll Witty) was one of the founders of a community called originally "Subdivision, Hill County, Texas" and later known as Woodbury. The Hill County Historical Commission tells us: " Woodbury is on Farm Road 309 twelve miles northwest of Hillsboro in north central Hill County. Anglo-American settlers began moving into the area about 1850, and the community was established in 1857, when Carroll Witty, William R. Nunn, and Rev. Thomas Newton McKee purchased property and offered it for sale."

In the 1870 Census for Hill County, TX, James was 25 and living with his parents and listing his occupation as "stock raiser,"  just as he had 10 years previously in the 1860 Census.

James married a woman who was a widow with three children, when he was 39 himself.  Mary Lou Cobb Books and James were married Nov 23, 1884.  Her children were William Terrell Brooks (Born: 1859) Mary Elizabeth Brooks Dennis (Born: 1862) and Bert Brooks (Born: 1875).  The date of the marriage was listed on her application for widow's pension, and the location was Shackleford, Texas, where she lived the rest of her life.

Unknown old house, Moran, Shackleford County, Texas
Moran Texas, 1924 looking west.

Shackleford County, Texas is where James spent his later adult life, and where he and his wife are buried, but in different cemeteries.   She's in the Moran Cemetery, also in Shackleford County, and her youngest son Bert Brooks was also buried there. 

Witty Fish and Chip truck, probably a belonging to a later descendant of the Witty family

His death is noted in the Texas Find A Grave site as "J.J. Whitty found dead in his wagon Sept of 1904 on his way home from town. found by Brooksey King (Possible burial place 7 or 8. Thought to have died of a heart attack. (Jo Ann Farmers Notes)"

The cemetery where his remains are located is unique in that it's a ranch cemetery with many unknown cowboys buried there.  It is listed as the Lynch Cemetery.  "The Lynch Cemetery is located 8 miles southeast of Albany near the Ibex Community on FMR 601. The cemetery began in the summer of 1875 as the final resting place of J. A. Leflet, a young cowboy who worked for the Lynch family on what was then called Fairview Ranch. Founders of the ranch, John C. Lynch and his wife Fannie, arrived in this part of Shackelford County in the 1860's after coming to nearby Stephens County with Fannie's family, the Peter Gunsolus family. After Mr. Leflet was buried in 1875, on a rise a quarter of a mile from the Lynch home, other cowboys on the ranch who died were also buried there, most now are unmarked or unknown."

 James J. Witty is listed as a known grave, and has a legible marker there.

Post office, Moran, Shakleford County, Texas

Thursday, February 19, 2015

John C. Witty

John and Kesiah Witty
This version of his dates gives him living from 1845-1931.
And being married to Kesiah.

Another version has him dying in 1865, in the county in which he lived according to several census records.

Who was John C. Witty?
My great great grandmother's brother, Great times 2 Uncle John Witty.

My Mother: Mataley Webb Munhall Rogers
Grandmother: Mozelle Miller Webb Munhall
Great grandmother: Eugenia Booth Miller
Great great grandmother: Eugenia Almeda Witty Booth

He was in the Civil War,  Confederate  Regiment, State/Origin: Texas 12th Regiment, Texas Infantry (Young's)  Company:  K  Rank In:  Private   Rank Out:  Private 
1862 enlistment records.

So either he married this woman, or perhaps he had another cousin named John Witty, who remained in Alabama, who married a woman named Martha.  This person is less likely to be my great times 2 uncle, because his name was spelled Watty.  And he had returned to the Alabama area in which he was born.  I tend to go with John Watty of Alabama having been a cousin who didn't imigrate to Texas with his family when he was 6.

What I do know is that he was part of my Great times 2 Grandmother's household, first in Alabama before she had been born, then to Texas, and he's also on the census of the new "subdivision" in Hill County when 16.  He was only 18 when he enlisted in the military.  And probably died in 1865 and isn't the jolly old man in the picture with which I've started this post.

I did a search of records on Ancestry, and have more questions than answers.

But there was a young man who joined the 12th Texas Infantry for the Confederate cause.  Some Texans didn't want to fight for the south, and some went and joined Union forces.  It was a terrible conflict with brothers against brothers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Big D, little d

Big D, known as Dallas, Texas to some of us, has changed over the years.  It's where I was born, but left when I was three and I've seldom returned, so don't really know much about it.

Dallas, taken in 1942 by Arthur Rothstein.
Image result for dallas texas
A more recent photo of downtown Dallas

Stills taken from home movies

Here are the "big and little" that are for this week's Sepia Saturday prompt.  The Little "d" in my title refers to the small environment of Dallas with which I was familiar.

Mother-Daughter Dresses made by Mataley Rogers, (my mother) for Easter in 1945 I think.  When I was growing up in the 50s it was still ok to wear dresses that came from Simplicty Patterns.  I think these must have as well.  Mother had a Singer sewing machine.  And my grandmother Mozelle Munhall (her mother) was a professional seamstress. 

I also remember keeping some of those patterns for years, thinking I'd make another dress/skirt/suit with the same pattern...but I never did.  I think, as a young mother myself in the 60s I made a few things for my mother.  One of my last ventures was a pair of sports coats for my 2 sons for Christmas one year...polyester was the big rave by the 70s.  I even had a mini-dress which  I sewed for myself.  I still have my own Sears sewing machine.

Enough reminiscing, which SS seems to trigger in my life easily.  I invite you to to over and see some other collections shared with Sepia Saturday this week. (Click here then go to bottom of page for names of more links.)

Our tour of the world's photographic archives has become a newsworthy event: this week on Sepia Saturday our theme image is being reported on the radio. To be precise it is on Finnish Radio - or rather Finnish Radio is on it. This 1937 photograph from the archives of the Finnish Radio Company shows engineers on the roof of an outside broadcast van. For those looking for a theme there is radio, broadcasting, roofs or people doing unusual things on motor vehicles. You might also like to run with the little and large comparison suggested by the two vehicles alongside each other. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

My Toys - Home movies part 8

A horrible shot taken from the home movies, but I share it because it's hard to get stop action of a swinging child...myself, around 1944.

The little metal wheelbarrow was great when paired with an old kitchen spoon for moving around various bits of rock and sand.

While my mom worked on a Victory Garden, I had some little pots in which I would put dirt and water, and of course make mud pies.  (I returned to the joy of mud again in college and when I retired and became a potter)

I was so thrilled to have a tricycle.

When I got tired of riding, I would tump it over...

And spin the wheels with my hands.

Imagination for use outside the box!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Who's birthday anyway?

In the old home movies, there was a sweet series of me with Daddy (George Rogers, Jr.) and blowing out candles.  Was it my 3rd because there were 3 candles?

"Happy Birthday Daddy - 31"

Nov. 9, 1945, Dallas, TX...and having a cake was wonderful for war time.  And, I just thought of how my sister was born in Feb. 1946, so she was already part of the family for this celebration!