Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ahnentafel #8 Green Lee Garner and #9 Harriet Gheesling

Green Lee Garner was born on 4 June 1850 in Washington County, Georgia, the son of William and Sarah Johnson Garner.  He lived in Washington County until about 1930 when he moved to Decatur County.   He had a twin brother Lee Roy Garner.   Green and Lee Roy were just young enough to miss the Civil War, turning 15 just as it ended.  They had several brothers who served but none who were killed, unlike many of their neighboring families.  They were the 7th and 8th children of twelve who survived to adulthood.  All the children grew up working on the farm and most became farmers themselves as adults.

On 21 January 1879, Green married Amanda Lou (Lou) Walker, 19, the daughter of Freeman Flournoy Walker and his wife Amanda Lou Hooks.  Rev Asa Duggan performed the ceremony.  Both attended - and were later buried at - Union Baptist Church near the Hancock/Washington county line.  The families were also connected in that two of Lou's brothers married Garner cousins.  They settled in Hancock County, where Green farmed and Lou ran the household.   Green and Lou had two daughters, Minnie (14 September 1880) and Lou Wixie (30 May 1883).  Lou died a month after her second daughter was born, presumably of complications from childbirth, and Lou Wixie herself died the following year, just before her first birthday. 

Green married for a second time on 18 Jan 1884, to Harriet (Hattie) Gheesling. They were married by Thomas West, a minister, in Warren County.   Hattie was born on 30 June 1852 in Warren County to Samuel Gheesling and Elizabeth Duggan.  I used to wonder how they met, until I realized that Hattie's grandfather lived next to Green's father.  Again the families were or became intermingled, in that Hattie's niece Frances Emily married Green's brother James Thomas Garner.  Hattie lived in Warren County until her marriage and the rest of her life in Hancock County.  Nothing is known about her education, but in the 1860 and 1870 censuses she is listed as attending school and in the later ones she is apparently able to read and write. 

Hattie and Green had 4 sons, all of whom appear with them in the 1900 Hancock County census.  They were Thomas Lawton (Nov 1884), William Samuel (16 Aug 1886), Henry Grady (Sep 1889) and Charles Gordon (1 Jan 1893).   All of the boys went by their middle name.  Hattie was apparently a good stepmother, since Green's daughter Minnie named her only daughter Hattie Lou, after her stepmother and mother.

The 1884-1887 Georgia tax digest shows Green owning 261 acres of land in Hancock County, worth $783, worked by 10 hands.  This is a high number of hands compared to other farms of similar size.  The value of his other property (stock, tools, furniture, etc) brought his total taxable value up to $1683.  In 1900, Green and Hattie are on the farm with the boys and Minnie.  Green was a farmer, while the children were all in school.  Hattie claimed to have had 4 children, all of whom were living. Green owned his farm.  By 1910, all of the children except Gordon had married and left home.  Minnie was in Atlanta, Lawton in California, Sam in Hancock County, and Grady in Kentucky.  They had sold the farm (or given it to Samuel) and were renting a house elsewhere in the county, while Green and Gordon worked as carpenters.

In 1912, they lost their son Lawton to disease, while he was still working out in California, leaving a wife Edna and a young daughter Marcellite.  Lawton's widow married his cousin Ivey William Garner, who raised Marcellite after Edna died a few years later.   Marcellite went on to work for the early Disney company as an illustrator and as the original voice of Minnie Mouse.

The 1920 census has the same household, with son Gordon still at home.  He has now finished college and is working as a farm demonstration agent, while Green is a farm superviser.   Green and Hattie still rent the house.

Hattie died in 1925, but I have been unable to find her death certificate, even though one should have been issued.  She was buried at Union Baptist Church, near Warthen.  Green died on14 March 1930 in Faceville, Decatur County, Georgia.  I have not found him in the 1930 census, so it is unclear whether he lived there or was just visiting his son.  Like his wives, he was buried back at Union Baptist Church in Washington County.

Green Lee and Amanda Lou had two children:

    i.  Minnie Lou Garner, 14 Sep 1880 to 15 Oct 1969.  She married Robert E. L. Carroll and taught school in DeKalb county, where they resided.
   ii.  Lou Wixie Garner, May 1883 - May 1884

Green Lee and Harriet A. had the following children:

   iii. Thomas Lawton Garner, Nov 1884 - 30 Jan 1912.  Married Edna May Michaels on 10 Oct 1908. They resided in California.
   iv.  William Samuel Garner, 16 Aug 1886 - 11 Jul 1966.  Married Mary Lou Boyer about 1906.  They lived first in Hancock County, then in Decatur County and finally in Dekalb.
   v.  Henry Grady Garner, 25 Sep 1889 - 12 Feb 1937.  According to family lore, he married several times and had no children.  He lived in Kentucky most of his adult life.
   vi.  Charles Gordon Garner, 1 Jan 1893 - 27 Nov 1955.  Married Mattie Hendricks on 10 December 1921. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Who was Abner Butler and do I care?

Abner Butler came into my life via a deed in Greenville, SC.  On 14 June 1797, two deeds for lands purchased by Samuel Kelley were registered at the Greenville courthouse.  The two purchases had been made in 1796.  One of them was registered by the oath of Abner Butler (attested by A. Butler and Valentine Butler) and the other was by the oath of James Gooch (attested by James Gooch and A. Butler).  James Gooch is known to be Samuel Kelley's son-in-law, but so far Abner has not been identified.

Witnesses to a deed do not have to have any familial relationship with the people involve, but Abner intrigues me because of James Gooch also being involved, and James was definitely a son-in-law  The first possibility of course is that Abner too is married to a Kelley daughter, but it seems unlikely.  In Samuel's 1819 will, he leaves something to his daughter Elizabeth Gooch, her son Tilman Gooch (but not any of her other children) and Samuel's grandson Samuel Forrester, with no mention of Forrester's parentage.  I would think that if his Forrester daughter was alive, he would have at least had to mention her, so it is unlikely that she was widow Forrester married to Butler.  No other children were listed.

It is also possible that Abner is a neighbor, but that does not appear to be the case in the 1800 census, where Abner was household 736 and Samuel (indexed as Melley) is household 1402.  Valentine does not appear in the 1800 census, but he did purchase land in Greenville County in 1797, from John Peek, land originally granted to John Micherson.  The description of Valentine's land and that of Samuel makes it sound like the two plots were very near each other.   One of Samuel's plots was purchased from John Peek, the other bordered John Peek's land and was land originally granted to Micherson.   Valentine sold his land in 1799 to Thomas Butler, who appears in the 1800 census as household 1318, so at least much closer to Samuel.  In 1804, Thomas in turn sold the land to Archibald Lester.  James and Simon Lister were two of the witnesses on Samuel Kelley's will. 

Lots of room for research here.  Is Sam just using neighbors to witness his transactions - very possible - or is there some closer connection.  Especially since Abner does not seem to in fact be a neighbor.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ahnentafel #7 Viola Elizabeth Wade

 Back from vacation and time to get back on track with this.  Today's entry is short, as I'm afraid many of those for the women will be. 

My grandmother Viola Elizabeth (Vicky) Wade was born on 9 December 1907, the fourth child (third surviving) of  Ed Wade and Carrie Horne, in Crawford County, Georgia.  She lived her entire life in Crawford County except for the last 3 or 4 in a nursing home in LaGrange.

Vic was pulled out of school early, mostly claiming that she only went through third grade, because of the need to help around the house.  The 1940 census, however, claims that she finished 7th grade, which was fairly normal for the area she lived in.  It is possible, of course, that she did not want to admit at that time to less education and she was the one answering the questions.

Viola Wade married Frank Becham on 10 July 1932.  He was a widower with 5 children.  Two of his children were severely (Frances) or mildly (Sarah) mentally handicapped and, according to Frank's daughter Louise, it was Vic who insisted that they be put in a home.  So while they frequently visited, only 3 of the older children actually lived with them.  She and Frank then had 3 children of their own.  Betty, born in May 1933, was the first child in the family ever to be born in a hospital.   The next child, Gladys, was premature and was born at home.  Viola's sister Clyde, a nurse, was visiting at the time and reportedly nursed her through.  The youngest child, Paul, was again born in the hospital.

Vic and Frank lived in Crawford county their entire married life.  For a period they were in Musella, where in addition to Frank's carpentry work, they ran a motel and a small store.  A new highway was put in which made the motel unprofitable, at which time they built a new home just outside Roberta.  Vic lived there even after Frank's death, until she was too old to cope with the house on her own.  At that point, she moved to a nursing home near her son Paul, in LaGrange, where she died  on 30 January 2000, at the age of 92.