Thursday, May 31, 2012

... starts with the Thomas Family - Children of Sarah Amanda Thomas

I found further information on some of Sarah Amanda Thomas and Edward Preston Sanford's children in Letha's binder, enough to separate it into its own post.

Henry Sanford, born 13 Feb 1891 in Sewell Valley, Greenbrier County, WV, he died on 3 Feb 1969 in an Oak Hill hospital. He is buried in the Sewell Valley Baptist Church Cemetery.

Henry was married to Anna Rose Hunter on 16 Jun 1926. They had 5 known children:

      1. Gloria E, b abt 1927 and d 30 Apr 1936 of Uremia and Acute Nephritis, she is buried at Sewell Valley Baptist Church Cemetery.
      2. Neville Edgar, b 13 Oct 1929 d 29 May 1984 Humana Hospital in Greenbrier County, WV. He is entombed at the Wallace Memorial Mausoleum at Clintonville. Neville married Irma Haynes and, according to his obituary, had 2 daughters: Kathy Sue (Clark) and Ronda Ann (Neal). Neville was the mayor of Rainelle from 1973-1978 and a 30-year employee of the town. Served as constable of the First Baptist Church of Rainelle from 1973-1977. 
      3. Eleanor married a Skidmore
      4. Dorothea married a Grennan
      5. Gayle married a Kashola   

Maggie Sanford, b 21 Apr 1902 d 18 Aug 1983. Maggie married McKinley Osborne on 29 May 1918 at the home of the officiant Abraham Frantz in Greenbrier, WV, and according to an article Letha has in her binder ("Osborne Family Tree Completed" written by Ludella Seabolt in an undated, undisclosed newpaper):  

 "McKinley marred Marrie (Maggie) Sanford and to them were born four children, Hobert, Margie, Melvin and Devlin. Melvin and his wife, Charlotte Tuck Osborne are the parents of Mr. Jerry Osborne of Flint's Hardware in Rainelle, for whom we have been doing this Osborne family history. Jerry is marrie dto the former Patty Cox and they have two children, Regina Kay and Brian Lee. Jerry furnished the picture of his grandparents."

What a handsome couple!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

... starts with the Thomas Family - Sarah Amanda Thomas

I introduced Edward and Sarah Lucas Thomas a few posts ago, their children are: William AlexanderElizabeth MargaretJames Franklin, Rachel Jane, Sarah Amanda, Edward Daniel, Joseph Andrew, Martha Alice, Adam Henry, Lucy Ellen, Mary Emma, and Angeline.

Sarah Amanda "Mandy" Thomas was born 24 Nov 1860 in Rockbridge County, Virginia and died 1 Mar 1939 in Meadow Bluff, Greenbrier County, at the age of 79 of "old age and senile dementia," she is buried at Sewell Valley Baptist Church Cemetery. She married Edward Preston Sanford (1860-1942) on 20 Mar 1886 (see line 4 in 1886) in Greenbrier County. They had 6 known children:

  1. Hattie, b 24 Apr 1888 in Sewell Valley, Greenbrier County, WV. She died at age 18 (see line 33) of Typhoid Fever on 27 Oct 1906, and is listed in Letha's work as buried at Sewell Valley Baptist Church Cemetery.
  2. Henry, b 13 Feb 1891 in Sewell Valley, Greenbrier County, WV, d 3 Feb 1969, buried at Sewell Valley Baptist Church Cemetery. He married Anna Rose Hunter 16 June 1926 in Lewisburg, by a Methodist Preacher N.W. Russell, her father (R.A. Hunter) present and giving consent. Her mother is listed as Eliza C Hunter, and Annie's birthdate was recorded as 17 as of Aug 1925). Henry is listed by Letha as having served in WWI, but I have no further details. 
  3. Fonda (Fondie), b 22 Jun 1892 (line 41) in Greenbrier County, WV, d 18 Nov 1973 in FayetteCounty, WV. Letha notes that Fondy had a child before she married, a daughter named Violet Lou, with a man by the name of John Fleshman. Violet is listed as Violet L Loudermilk in the 1920 census with Fonda and her husband Joseph Elmer Loudermilk (married 31 Jul 1918 in Lewisburg), Violet listed as 6 years old in 1920. See Joseph's obit below.
  4. Preston, b 4 Jun 1896 in Sewell Valley, Greenbrier County, WV, d 12 Jul 1977 in Hyde Park, Westmorleand County, PA. He served in WWI from 23 Sep 1917-13 Mar 1919. He was married to Violet Mae Henry on 6 Jul 1917 (possibly in Pennsylvania), their first child, Lucille, born 4 Jan 1919 in Pennsylvania. By the 1920 census they are living in Meadow Bluff, Greenbrier County, Preston's brother Henry is living with them. They are in  Leechburg, Armstrong, Pennsylvania, for the 1930 census with 2 more children, Roy (8) and Edward (6).
  5. Walker Edward, b Sep 1898 (see line 10) in Sewell Valley, Greenbrier County, WV, d 28 Jul 1971, and is buried in the Sewell Valley Baptist Church Cemetery. Walker married Flora Dell Hanna 16 Oct 1942 in East Rainelle, Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Letha notes 2 children: Lacy and Darrell. Further research using indicates that Walker married a Clara Agnes Chisolm prior to his marriage to Flora Dell Hanna. Walker and Clara were married 9 Dec 1927 in Lewisburg, her parents listed as S.R. and Tinie (?) Chisolm, Clara was 16 as of 12 April 1927, her father listed as present and giving his consent. In the (April) 1930 census, Walker and Clara have a 3 year old daughter, Rosa L , and a son, Lacy, who was 1 year and 7 months old; residing with them is Clara's father Ruthford Chisolm, widowed. 
  6. Maggie, b 21 Apr 1902 (line 7) in Sewell Valley, Greenbrier County, WV,  d 18 Aug 1983 at Beckley Hospital in Raleigh County, WV, buried at Sewell Valley Baptist Church Cemetery. She married McKinley Osborne on 29 May 1918, by Abraham Frantz (we've seen him before!). Children: Hobart, Delvin, Melvin, and Margie. 
Preston Sanford with cousin Willie Thomas
(Willie's parents were James Franklin and
Minerva Kate Woolwine Thomas). They were
both born June 1896.
Preston Sanford, WWI

OBIT of Walker Sanford 

OBIT of Joseph Loudermilk, husband of Fonda Sanford. 
OBIT of Henry Sanford

... starts with the Thomas family - Rachel Jane Thomas.

I introduced Edward and Sarah Lucas Thomas a few posts ago, their children are: William Alexander, Elizabeth Margaret, James Franklin, Rachel Jane, Sarah Amanda, Edward Daniel, Joseph Andrew, Martha Alice, Adam Henry, Lucy Ellen, Mary Emma, and Angeline.

L. A. and Jennie Thomas Martin
Next up is Rachel Jane "Jennie" Thomas, born 20 June 1858 in Rockbridge County, Virginia, died 8 Feb 1934 of Broncho Pneumonia at the age of 75. She married Leonidas Rosser "Ross" Martin on 14 Jan 1880 in Greenbrier County (marriage registry here, line 10).  Leonidas was born in December 1858, to Perry W. and Martha R. Thompson Martin in Greenbrier County, see line 211 here. He passed away from chronic nephritis on 29 June 1935 in Alderson, Greenbrier County. He is listed as buried at Alderson Cemetery. I can only assume at this point that Rachel is with him. Does anyone know for certain? They are not found on

Leonidas and Rachel do not appear to have had natural children, but they were able to help raise 3 children (according to Letha's notes, with references to Mary McNamee, Aunt Cora, and Juanita):
L.A. and Jennie, date unknown.

  • Georgia Adela (Idela) Bahr, b 16 Jan 1878 d 14 Jul 1969, buried at Alderson Cemetery. "Never adopted, took her when 13 mos. old. She stayed with Mary & Bill McNamee in later years. Georgia's real parents were John & Martha Miller Bahr" Georgia married James Berman Canterbury (1873-1953, buried at Comer Cemetery in Greenville, "James had 1 dau. by former marriage - Nann Emmett (Maryland)"  ) on 6 Nov 1945 in Alderson, she was 67 years old and he was 72.  Their marriage license is here, right-side of the page. 
  • Henry Martin - a foster son.
  • Ashby Snyder - a foster son.

Monday, May 28, 2012

... starts with the Thomas Family - Elizabeth, James and Alice Thomas

Edward Gilmer Thomas and Sarah A Lucas, introduced here had at least 12 known children.

I've detailed the family of William Alexander Thomas here, so next up is Lizzy.

Elizabeth Margaret "Lizzy" Thomas was born 22 June 1854 and there is a notation of her death occuring on 8 Feb 1934, but I have been unable to confirm this just yet. Lizzy married John W. Ralston on 15 Sep 1875 in Rockbridge County, VA.   I found their marriage listing on an amazing and FREE source!

Lizzy and J.W. had one known child, John Henry Ralston, born Aug 1876 (according to the 1900 census) in Virginia. It would appear that he never married.

The Ralston Family is found in the following areas during the censuses:

    • 1880 - John W., Elizabeth, and John H. P. in Blue Sulphur, Greenbrier, West Virginia
    • 1900 - John W. Elizabeth M., John H., and Alice Thomas (Elizabeth's sister just a few years older than John H.) in Goshen, Rockbridge, Virginia
    • 1910 - John W., Elizabeth, John H., and Martha (same sister, Martha Alice) in Walker Creek, Rockbridge, Virginia
    • 1920 - John, Elizabeth, Alice, and Henry in Walker Creek, Rockbridge, Virginia
    • 1930 - John H. and his aunt Ellie (same Martha Alice, I believe). I have been unable to find John W. and Elizabeth in the census. 
John Henry Ralston and his Aunt Martha Alice Thomas - I imagine their similar ages (about 8 years separate the two)  would have them more sibling-like in their relationship with each other... anyone know?
James Franklin Thomas, the third child of Edward and Sarah, was born 9 Mar 1856 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. His death date is noted as 30 Dec 1934, at age 78. James married Minerva Catherine "Kate" Woolwine on 8 Jul 1883 (here is their Marriage Register, line 57, note that her last name is listed here as Woodbine). Minerva's birth, on 27 Jun 1860 in Monroe County to John E and Dinah (Dianna) Woolwine, is recorded here. They had a very large family.

The family of James Franklin and Minerva "Kate." Due to the age of the baby in this photo, I would put it around 1900, at which time Kate's mother, Dianna Woolwine, was residing with them (1900 census), so I believe that is who the old woman, on the far right, is in this photo.
front row: Perry Lee, Mary Elizabeth, and J W
back row: Joe H, Kate, Andrew J (in Kate's arms), James Franklin, Sarah C "Sallie", Rachel Ann, James Edward,
Dianna Woolwine
The family can be found in the 1900 census living in Meadow Bluff, Greenbrier, WV; and in the 1920 in Curdsville, Buckingham, Virginia. I have been unable to find any of them in the 1910 yet.
    • Sarah C "Sallie" b 24 Oct 1884 in Greenbrier County, there is an Ohio death record for a Sarah C Brackenridge d 27 Mar 1968 in Barberton, Summit, Ohio, though its hard to say this is her, but the dates match. Married to Charles A Brackenridge sometime around 1905, according to 1910 census.
      • Children: Elizabeth, Ezra (b 1906), Herbert, David, Larry and Daniel
    • Rachel Ann b 22 Oct 1886 d 10 Aug 1965 in Dillwyn, Buckingham, Virginia, married to (?) Dolan.
      • One daughter listed: Mary Allen Dolan Ayers
    • James Edward b 11 May 1888 in Greenbrier County, West Virginia
    • Joe H b 19 May 1890 in Rupert, Greenbrier, West Virginia d 22 Jun 1970 at Logan General Hospital, buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Pecks Mill, West Virginia.Married to Elizabeth (?).
    • Perry Lee b 9 Mar 1892 in Kieffer, Greenbrier, West Virginia d 9 Feb 1979. "Death notice: 2 step ch. Delbert Seral and Kathryn Ross. Married to a Madeline Reynolds" I found a marriage registry for Perry and a widow named Rosa Searl in Kanawha County on 17 Sep 1919. In the 1920 census, Perry is living with "Lena" and 2 step-children, William (7) and Delbert (4), married abt 1919, same in 1930 census. There is a second marriage for Perry on 30 Apr 1954 (couple 664) in Kanawha County, Perry (widower) marrying Madeline King (widow).
    • Mary Elizabeth b 23 Apr 1894 in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Married to an S. A. Daniel.
    • John William (Willie, pictured below?) b 21 Jun 1896 in Greenbrier County, West Virginia.
    • Andrew J(ennings?) b 8 May 1898 in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Birth record here, line 22.
    • Baby Boy (Stillborn) b 23 Jun 1900 in Greenbrier County, West Virginia.
    • Oliver S b 4 May 1905, d 28 Feb 1963 in Thomas Memorial Hospital, S Charleston, Kanawha, WVa, buried at Cunningham Memorial Park, St Albans. Oliver was a truck driver and was killed in an accident. 
Preston Sanford and cousin Willie Thomas.  Preston's  mother  (Sarah Amanda Thomas Sanford), was a sister of Willie's father (James Franklin Thomas).   

Saturday, May 26, 2012

... starts with the Thomas Family - Edward G Thomas.

Edward G Thomas and wife Sarah A Lucas 
Page 3 of the Thomas Family binder is the FGS of Edward Gilmer Thomas, son of Archelaus and Rachel A Walker Baber. Edward was born 10 Apr 1826 and died on 8 Nov 1898 aged 72 years (link to the death registry record). He married Sarah Amanda Lucas on 19 Feb 1852. Sarah was born 28 Jan 1833 and died on 30 Apr 1909. Letha has no father listed for her, her mother is listed simply as "Betty" (see the Bible post for the source of birth, death, marriage and Sarah's mother's name). Their graves are in the Ben McClung Cemtery in Rupert, WV, I took the photos below on a trip there in July 2011. I have not come across the death record or certificate for Sarah. I have provided links where possible in my attempts to make this research as complete as possible. Letha notes her sources on this page as "Mary McNamee's scrapbook; Family Records; and Stones at Cemetery"

Children of Edward G and Sarah A Lucas Thomas:
  1. William Alexander, b 5 Dec 1852 d 30 Jan 1934 age 82, married Emma Puckett 10 Oct 1878, Letha notes they had 5 children. According to his death certificate, he was married to an Ida Smith at the time of his death, he is buried at Upton Cemetery
  2. Elizabeth "Lizzy" Margaret, b 22 June 1854 d 8 Feb 1934 age 80, married J W Ralston 16 Sep 1875, 1 son J H "Henry" Ralston.
  3. James Franklin, b 9 Mar 1856 d 30 Dec 1934 age 78 (or Nov 1924 written in pencil), married Minerva Catherine "Kate" Woolwine 8 Jul 1883, burial for James Franklin Thomas simply says Dillwyn, VA. 11 or more children.  
  4. Rachel Jane "Jennie", b 20 Jun 1858 d 8 Feb 1937 age 76 (or 8 Feb 1934 in pencil), married L A "Russ" Martin 14 Jan 1880, they had no children, lived in Alderson and adopted a daughter named Georgia Barr. 1934 is correct, here is her death cetificate, burial simply listed as Alderson.
  5. Sarah Amanda "Mandy", b 24 Nov 1860 d 1 Mar 1939 age 79, buried at Little Sewell Church Cemetery, Rainelle, Greenbrier, WV, married to Edward Preston Sanford 20 Jan 1886. One child: Marrie. Death Certificate indicates Sewell Valley Cemetery as place of burial. 
  6. Edward Daniel "Ed", b 11 May 1863 d 4 Sep 1957 age 94, burial listed as Sims Cemetery on Loops Rd, Fayette County, WV, married to Eliza Sims on 3 Jan 1895, 2 daughters Mary and Nellie. Death Certificate 
  7. Joseph Andrew "Joe Andy", b 19 Feb 1866 d 6 Dec 1938 age 72 at Danese, WV, married to Mary Ellen Callison on 5 Mar 1900 at Greenbrier County, WV. The marriage record here indicates March 7th.  Both are buried together at Ben McClung Cemetery in Rupert. 7 children, 1 died as a baby. Joseph's death certificate can be viewed here
  8. Martha Alice, b 11 May 1868 d Nov 1935 age 67, never married. I have not come across any death certificate for her yet.
  9. Adam Henry, b 14 Sep 1870 d 13 Feb 1926, married to Ida Hinkle Had 6 children lists Haven (died age 32), Rubena, and Carrie. Adam's death certificate is here, he is buried at Oak Hill. 
  10. Lucy Ellen, b 7 Feb 1873 d 17 Jul 1963, married Rev. Abraham Michael Frantz on 9 May 1939 at the age of 66, no children.
  11. May Emma, b 3 Jun 1877 in Rupert, WV d 30 Mar 1953 age 76, married to Charles Wallace Crotty on 14 Aug 1901 (strangely enough by the same Rev A M Frantz who would marry her sister Lucy in 1939). 
  12. Angeline, b in VA d before 1877 at age 14... 
There is a note from Letha that "6 other children died?"... and that Edward and Sarah "Lived at Woodbridge, Goshen, Rockbridge Co., VA. Came to Greenbrier Co, W.Va Apr 1877." 

Does anyone know anything about Edward and Sarah and their children? Anything to add to the bare bones I've posted here? What were these people like? I'll leave you with the only other photos I have of Ed and Sarah.
This is Joe Andy Thomas and his family, I believe the older woman to be Sarah A Lucas Thomas, and based on the baby's age, this photo was done around 1906 (baby James Elzie Thomas b Sep 1905).
Anyone know who owns this today? The photo appears to have been printed in 1970, but could it be a reprint?

Friday, May 25, 2012

... starts with the Thomas Family - John Walker Thomas

Page 2 of Letha's binder is the Family Group Sheet of John Walker Thomas, son of Archelaus Thomas and Rachel Ann Walker Baber. John is listed as being born 30 Jan 1827 in VA. His death is recorded as 17 Jan 1892, he was nearly 65.

John was married to a Nancy Miller, born 7 May 1835, died 13 Sep 1894. There is no marriage date for them listed, but a note from Letha says that "All children born at Meadow Bluff" in Greenbrier County. I did find their marriage info here on the WV Culture website, (which if you do any WV research, is PRICELESS), they applied for a marriage license on 19 Dec 1855, and were married on 20 Dec 1855 in Greenbrier County by a J.P. Etchison. John's parents are correctly listed as Arch & Rachel, Nancy's parents are Wm & Jane Miller. Nancy was 20 years old and born in Greenbrier County.

In the Information Obtained From section Letha has noted again the "Old Diary of Mary Jane Thomas Fitzgerald, shared by her daughter Susie Fitzgerald Oak Hill, WV" Mary Jane is a daughter of John Walker Thomas and Nancy Miller. Several of the following children have a notation of "(Ollie)" next to them, Ollie being a child of John Floyd Thomas and Flora Belle Callison, grandchild of John Walker Thomas and Nancy Miller.

The children of John Walker Thomas and Nancy Miller:

  1. Martha Estaline (Infant), b 21 Mar 1857 or 8 Apr 1857 (Ollie) d 30 Aug 1857
  2. Wm Alexander M. (Infant), b 21 Apr 1858 or 21 Mar 1858 (Ollie) d 8 Aug 1858
  3. Mary Jane Brown, b 23 Apr 1859 d 11 Oct 1938, married Geo. W. Fitzgerald, children listed: Robert Lee, Susie, Bessie. "See back" notation: "Mary Jane md Geo. W. Fitzgerald, b 13 Mar 1834; Robert Lee b 11 Sep 1897 at Springdale (WV) d 9 Jul 192, md Barbara Williams, d 1 Jun 1956, 6 girls; Susie b 5 Jan 1898 Meadow Bluff, d 14 Nov 1994 Oak Hill (WV); Bessie b 4 Oct 1901 d 29 May 1990 Oak Hill."
  4. Elizabeth Nettie, b 8 Mar 1861 d Feb 1906, married Jake Milner, children: Charles and Howard.
  5. Fannie Ann, b 13 Apr 1863 d 9 Feb 1874 at 11 years old.
  6. John Floyd, b 27 Jun 1865d 1 Jan 1944 in Seoul Chapel, married Flora Belle Callison 12 mar 1896 in Greenbrier County, WV, children: Ollie, Ray, and Russ.
  7. Lydia Alice, b 28 Apr 1868 d 31 Dec 1894 at age 26.
  8. Robert Lee, b 19 Apr 1869 d 1 Dec 1921, never married.
  9. Augustus "Gus" Samuel, b 25 Sep 1871 d 30 Apr 1950, married to Lula Deene. children: Myrtle, Lacy, Baby Boy; "see back" notation: Gus' daughter Myrtle married Lacy Moody, Myrtle died of a stroke Dec 1988; Gus' son Lacy md Ava ___, had a son Lacy Jr.
  10. Edward Smith, b 5 Jul 1874 or 1 Jul 1874 (Ollie) d 28 Feb 1936, married Sarah Bell Evans 10 Apr 1910 in Kingwood, WV, children: Frank, Fred, Helen Rae, Olive.
  11.  Lulie Mackie, b 10 Jun 1877 d 22 Aug 1964, married Walter Cae Hamilton (d 21 Jun 1941), no children.
  12. Joseph Lemon "Joe", b 23 Jan 1880 d 29 Nov 1937, married to Myrtle Steven (?) who died 26 Apr 1952.
Also on the back of this group sheet is the following entry recorded by Letha:
John Walker Thomas died when his wagon was crowded to the edge of (the) road. He had some barrels of salt he'd gotten at Sandstone for someone where he lived. When the wagon tilted the barrels slid to the side and took the wagon and horses and all over the cliff above a creek. I saw the place where it happened. The road is very narrow and a team of oxens tried to pass him, he should have gotten off but didn't. They carried him to a house across the creek, a family of Hollands lived there. (As written by Susie Fitzgerald, granddaughter)
Are you connected to this family? Do you know who currently has Mary Jane's "Old Diary" (I'd love to see it!). Do you have any pictures of this family? Contact me!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

... includes mentions of a Thomas Family Bible.

As mentioned in my last post, Letha's research refers to dates from a Bible. I do not currently know who has it, but I do have copies, some places are hard to read, of its family pages. I believe the Bible belonged to a son of Archelaus and Rachel Walker Baber Thomas, Edward Gilmer Thomas and his wife Sarah A Lucas Thomas. Below are the pages and my transcription of them, questionable areas in parentheses, my notes in purple.

Page 1
Edward G Thomas was Borned The 10th of April 1826
Sarah A Thomas was Borned January The 28th 1833
William Elexander Thomas Was borned December The 5th 1852
Elizabeth Margaret Thomas Was borned June The 22nd 1854
James Franklin Thomas Was borned March The (9)th 1856
Rachel Jane Thomas was Borned June The 20th 1858
Sarah Amanda Thomas was Borned November the 24th 1860
(The name Mary appears to have been written but is crossed out...)
Edward Daniel Thomas was Bond May the 11th (unreadable year)
Jophes (should be Joseph?) Andrew Thomas was (...) February the 19th 1866

Page 2
Martha (Allie?) Thomas was Bornd the 11 day of May the 1868
Addam henry Thomas was was Bornde the 14 day of September 1870
lucy Ellen Thomas was Bonde the 7 day of February the 1873
Mary emer Thomas was Born June the 3 the 1877
Rachel Thomas was born February 13th 1789 Died in March the 19 1882
Archey Thomas Was Born in 17(?)9 (1799 or 1789?) Died November 24 the 1875
Betsy Lucas was Born 
(The bottom 3 individuals are the parents of Edward and Sarah Lucas Thomas)
Page 3
Edward G. Thomas Died The 8th day of November 1898
Sarah A. Thomas Died April 30th 1908
William A. Thomas Died January 30th 1934
James F. Thomas Died November 1924
Rachel Jane Thomas Martin Died February 8th 1934
Jo A. Thomas Died Dec 6 1938
Martha Alice Died Nov 1935
Henry Thomas Died February 13th, 192(?) (1926)
Sarah Manda March 1, 1939
Page 4
E G Thomas Consirt of Sarah A Lucus february the 19 the 1852
J W Rolston Consirt of Lizzie M Thomas Sept the 16 the 1875
William A Thomas Consirt of Emerline V Pucket October the 10 the 1878
L R Martin Consirt of Raichel J Thomas January the 14 the 1880
Consirt of James H Thomas Manrvia C Woolwine July the (?) 1888 (Minerva, 8 Jul 1883)
(unreadable) of Edward Sanfort and Sarah M Thomas January the 20th 1886
Edward D Thomas Consirt of Eliza E Sims January (unreadable) 1895 (3 Jan 1895)
C(unreadable) Crotty married E(unreadable) Thomas (unreadable) 14th 1901 (Charles Wallace Crotty and Mary Emma Thomas, 14 Aug 1901)

Edward and Sarah are living in the Lexington Post Office area of Rockbridge County, Virginia in the 1860 census, so we can assume the children born through 1860 were born in Rockbridge County. In 1870 they are living in Walkers Creek, Rockbridge, Virginia, still within the Lexington Post Office district. By the 1880 census they have moved to Meadow Bluff, Greenbrier, West Virginia. 

Does anyone out there know who has this Bible currently? I'd love to get photos of it or even just fresh copies of these pages. I have photos of Edward and Sarah that I will post soon.

... starts with the Thomas Family.

While I don't know how Letha organized her binders and books and folders in her home (they came to me from storage packed in boxes), I figure she probably started her research with her own surname. Thomas. So, that's where I'll start in my journey through what She Left Behind.

The Thomas binder begins with the furthest back Letha seems to have gone (at least in this binder), with the family group sheet of Archelaus "Archey" Thomas. All information listed here is from her work, and I will add any notes she has as to where she received this information. Also, I will add any information on the families that are being discussed from my own research

Family Group Sheet for Archelaus Thomas from Letha's Thomas Family binder.

Archelaus Thomas "Archey", born 1794 (also lists "Bible 17_9"). He is listed as marrying Rachel A Walker Baber on 25 Jan 1820 in Albemarle County, VA (she notes that his named was spelled Archilles). Archey's death is listed here as 24 Nov 1875, possibly in VA. He resided in Rockbridge Co, VA in 1850, and was a Laborer. 

Rachel A Walker Baber was born 13 Feb 1797 ("Bible 1789") in VA and she died on 19 Mar 1882 in Greenbrier County, WV, buried at the Ben McClung Cemetery (also known as the (John) Jones Farm Cemetery) in Rupert, WV - side note that I visited this cemetery in 2007 and 2011, it is EXTREMELY overgrown, having been fenced in by family members, Letha orchestrating the efforts, trying to protect the cemetery as it is in the middle of a cow pasture. Many of the stones are knocked down and it is downright scary to be in there (snakes, etc). Massive effort will need to be undertaken to get this cemetery under control again, as well as setting up regular maintenance... a post for another day perhaps. - 

Can you spot the Cemetery?

Their children are listed by Letha as follows: 

  • Kemp Thomas (b 1822 VA) married to Caroline Montgomery (7 children - written on back: Elizabeth Ann b 1849/50, Estaline, Addie, Mary, Leona, George, and Adam)
  • John Walker Thomas (b 30 Jan 1827 VA d 17 Jan 1892) married to Nancy Miller
  • Edward Gilmer Thomas (b 10 Apr 1826 VA d 8 Nov 1898 Greenbrier County, WV buried at Ben McClung Cemetery, Rupert, WV) married to Sarah Amanda Lucas 19 Feb 1852
  • Martin Thomas (b 1834 Albemarle County, VA) married to Fannie Coppins 29 Nov 1863 in Rockbridge County, VA (there is also a Mary F. McAlpin listed in the margin here, possbile second wife?) children listed: Samuel, Maggie, Sallie, and Mollie
  • Joseph Thomas (b 1829 in Albemarle County, VA d 21 Jul 1853 "age 24, Bilious Fever" Rockbridge, VA) "never married"
  • Arch M. Thomas Jr. (b 1836 VA)
  • Ann Thomas (b 1828 VA) "never married"
  • Melvina Mildred Thomas (b 1827 VA) married to John Little, child: Rachel A. b 1845
So, if listed in birth order, the 8 known children of Archelaus (Sr) and Rachel A Walker Baber Thomas are: 
Kemp (1822), Edward (Apr 1826), John (Jan 1827), Melvina (1827), Ann (1828), Joseph (1829), Martin (1834), and Arch Jr (1836).

In the upper left-hand corner of the FGS Letha used is a section "This Information Obtained From:" to which she wrote the following: "From Mary Jane Thomas Fitzgerald's Old Diary - Shared by her dau. Susie Fitzgerald, Oak Hill, WV - 1850 Rockbridge County, VA Census" Dated 1 Oct 1984. - I wish Letha's address book had been included... -

I do know, from other researchers, that there is evidence to be had that Archelaus' father was a David Thomas, which I will detail in another post, for now I'll stick to Letha's books.

I have been given copies, of (what appear to be copies of copies, pretty hard to read in spots) the Bible pages Letha referred to, I am unsure as to who the last known holder of the Bible was. See the Bible post.

If you know anyone related to these families, please send them my way! My intent is to share it all here, so if you have anything to add, please contact me! Also, if you know of any groups (boy scouts, maybe?) who would be interested in helping to clean up the Ben McClung Cemetery, I'd LOVE to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

... is in the names.

Now that things are getting started on this project, I realise that a post dedicated to the major surnames Letha researched might be helpful.

So, here goes, in alphabetical order, from the binders and folders she left behind. Of course, within these many other surnames will be present.

Claypool  / Claypoole 
Osborn  / Osborne 

Areas of interest to Letha (binders, folders, books, etc):

Fayette County, WV
 - Meadow Bridge, Danese, and Rainelle in particular 
Nicholas County, WV 
- Panther Mtn 
Summers County, WV

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

... is a gift from Letha.

So who is she? This amazing person I wish I had known? She was born Letha Mae Thomas in 1931 and she passed from this world in 2003. I can tell you that she was the eldest girl of a very large family, 8 full siblings, 3 half. I have been told that she helped raise her siblings, and then became a huge influence in the lives of their children, her nieces and nephews (my father among them).

A poem written in dedication to Letha by Pam Thomas, wife of one of Letha's brothers. 

My father moved from Ohio to Florida to help her and her husband in the 1990s, where he has stayed ever since. It was his suggestion that I have access to the Legacy, pulling it out of storage. I thank those of her siblings who have entrusted me with this job of being the caretaker of her Legacy.

So, what got her started? When did she begin? How did she do all of this? I don't know.

She did all of this by hand. The internet is my crutch. Much of her work was done from a distance. The bulk of the areas covered in the Legacy is in Virginia, and West Virginia. She lived in Florida. I can't even use the excuse of distance. I live in Kentucky. Just 4 hours from her childhood home and much of the history. I hope that I am worthy of her. 

For various reasons, I am unfortunately not very close (physically, emotionally, etc) to my Paternal side, and much less to generations of family beyond my father and his siblings. I hope to change that (and Facebook helps us keep in touch much easier!), but getting to know the ancestors is one process and catching up with those still among us is another. I hope that they will help me honor Letha in this project by adding to my knowledge with their first-hand experiences of our family. Help me to get to know these people that I missed out on knowing in person. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

... is overwhelming, but exciting!

I've joined the blogosphere... and I'm intimidated, scared, excited, and hopeful.

I have been given a great honor by my extended family, many who really don't know me from anyone, and I hope that I can do well by them in the task given to me. My Great Aunt, sister to my paternal grandmother, was quite the avid family historian. She researched her family for years, entirely without the aid of technology like the internet, and emails. I wish I had known her. I have so many questions. I hope that she would have picked me as the recipient of this great gift. I'm not sure if anyone else has interest in this project, but here we go.
The Legacy...

Unfortunately, since the boxes found their way to me (in Kentucky, by way of Ohio, from Florida - I know, right?) nearly 2 years ago, I'm already off to a bang-up job. I've been pondering off and on where to start. How to start. Hoping the boxes of binders, books, pictures, files, newspaper clippings, letters, etc would speak to me. Do I scan all of her hard work page by page (oh my God, the task would take years) and just pass USB sticks (how big would they have to be?) to anyone in the family with even a mild interest? Do I start a mobile museum for anyone who wants to come peruse it? Ha. I've had family members say that they want to "see it," to which I send them the above photo. What else am I supposed to do? Do I attempt to continue and perfect her research into a book that can possibly be published for anyone interested? Maybe. I haven't ruled that one out, especially with the aid of the internet, I'm sure there is even more information out there to be had, and new generations to add. By the way, its a good thing (and likely why I was chosen) I came into this a bit of a genealogy-obsessed person anyhow, so much of her hard work wouldn't make much sense to just anyone looking it over.

So, here goes. My intent with this blog is to document my way through The Legacy She Left Behind in hopes that someone with an interest in some or all of these family lines finds it and can share in the Legacy with me.