Friday, June 13, 2014

Ahnentafel #12 Franklin Lafayette Becham and #13 Sarah Lodelia Mathews

Franklin Lafayette (Fate) Becham was born in September 1871 in Crawford County, Georgia to Washington Becham and Ann Catherine Perry.   He was generally called Fate (short for Lafayette) but occasionally appears in the records as Frank.  He lived his entire life in the county and appears with his parents in the 1880 census. 

Sarah Lodelia (Delia) Mathews was born 26 February 1870 in Brooks County,  Georgia to Thomas Franklin Mathews and Susan Catherine Peterman.  The family had moved back to Crawford County, GA by the time she was 10, since she appears there in the 1880 census.  She is with her parents in both the 1870 and 1880 censuses.

Fate and Delia married on 22 December 1895 in Crawford County, Georgia, where he followed in his father's footsteps as a farmer and potter.  Fate's pottery has developed some reknown in Georgia and in fact an example of it is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  
This photo is of his great-great-
Granddaughter looking at the jug in the Smithsonian. It is the one on the far right.

 In 1900, Frank and Lodelia are renting a farm near Roberta, with their two oldest children Frank and Washington (generally known as W.P.).   This particular census is the first one I ever looked up as a genealogist, back when the only way to find one was at the Archives.  The magic of seeing my grandfather as a young child hooked me totally and I've never looked back.   In this one, they duly note that they've been married 5 years, and have had two children, both of whom were living.

In 1910, they are still on the farm, but the family is now up to 6 children, 5 boys and 1 girl.  Another child has apparently died since Delia states that she has had 7 children but 6 were living.  Their youngest child, another boy Walker, was born two months after this census was taking.   By 1920 they own their farm, although they do have a mortgage on it.  In this census, Frank and his 3 oldest sons were all listed as house carpenters.  The youngest 3 boys were in school and daughter Lucile was married.

About this time, Frank was apparently very involved with the Methodist church, since this is when he had the photo taken of himself and his sons, in the church group. Delia had been noted joining Old Bethel Methodist church in 1897. Fate may have already been a member there since that is where his father is buried. 

By 1930, all the children had left home except W.P., who continued to live there until his death in 1974.   Their son Frank was widowed by this time and had returned home with 4 of his 5 children.  The baby, Sarah, was living with her aunt Lucile.   Fate was listed as a farmer and W.P. was described as a laborer on his father's farm.  Frank was still working as a carpenter.   Fate owned the farm but no value was given for it.

In 1931, Fate and his son Frank went to a family reunion hosted by his sister Ophelia (Mrs. J.W.) Thomason, in Dry Branch GA, celebrating his brother-in-law's 71st birthday.  Also from Roberta were Fate's sisters Mrs Bill (Addie) Smith and Mrs. Virginia Smith.

In 1940, Fate, Delia and Washington are living on the farm they own, now valued at $4700.  Their son Henry lived next door.  Fate was listed as a brick mason laying brick, but not working and he had not worked the census week of 24-30 March 1940.  He had worked 10 weeks in 1939, for which he earned $50.

Fate died on 14 June 1958 age 86 and was buried in the Roberta City Cemetery.  His will left $300 to his wife with the remainder going to his son W.P. with the request that W.P. look after his mother.  The will added that this was just a request, not a stipulation, but W.P. did in fact look after his mother until her death.  Delia in turn died on 15 June 1965, age 95.  I was taken to see her a few weeks before she died and she was the only one of the great grandparents that I was aware of meeting.

Fate and Delia had the following children:

1.  Frank Jones Becham, 1897-1985, married 1) Ola Pauline Bryant and 2) Viola Elizabeth Wade.  
2.  Washington Perry (W.P.) Becham, 1899-1974, never married
3.  Henry Lafayette Becham, 1901-1989, married Edith Williamson.  Remained in Crawford County.
4.  Lucile Delia Becham, 1901-1994, married Robert Edward Hortman.
5.  James Alfred Becham, 1904-1971, married Cecile Laing while serving in the navy in California.  Eventually returned to Roberta after he and Cecile divorced.
6.  Edgar P. Becham, 1908-1936.  Married Verlin Hutto but died of cancer shortly after the marriage.
7.  Walker M. Becham, 1910-1987, married Gladys Johnston.

Fate and Delia Becham and some of their descendents, probably early 1950s.


  1. Very nice piece on that part of your family. Love the photo!

  2. The Addie Becham Smith mentioned above was the wife of William Lafayette Smith (1846-1920). His parents were Daniel B. Smith and Julia Ann Dye. I have hit a brick wall with Julia's parents. She was native American and one researcher believes her mother was a Cates. Julia was born in S.C. in 1825. I have a photo of Addie and also Julia. Would be interested in any information on the family.
    Thanks, Sybil

  3. Sybil, I somehow missed your comment, Feel free to email me at I will look to see what other info I may have on this.

  4. The man standing on the right side of the photo holding a little girl (you can only see the top of her blonde hair) is my grandfather, Madison (Mack) Henry Hortman, son of Lucile Delia Becham Hortman and Robert Hortman. Mack, who is still living, will be 90 on November 27th. Thanks for sharing!