Wednesday, September 19, 2012

... starts with the Thomas Family: Bessie Jane Thomas

Bess, circa 1934

The  sixth child of Joseph Andrew Thomas and Mary Ellen Callison, and the only daughter, was Bessie Jane, or simply Bess. Bess was born 19 Nov 1907 either in Smoot (as seen here on line 34), or in Dawson (as submitted by L. H. McClung, Physician), both being in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. These communities are extremely small, and are only about 5 miles apart.

Bess married a man by the name of Seymour Stickler on 11 Nov 1936 in Maplewood, Fayette, West Virginia. According to their Marriage Record, Seymour was 33 years old, a widower (his first wife died in 1933), a miner, and was born to W. L. and Delphia Stickler in Lockbridge, Summers County, WV. Bess is listed as 29 years of age at her marriage.

Seymour's first marriage, on 17 Sep 1927 in Fayetteville, WV, was to a Dorothy Spade, daughter of Letcher Esco Spae and Vernie Lee Sanner, born about Feb 1908. She is listed in the Friday, Nov 3, 1933, Charleston Daily Mail (page 5 - found on
Funeral Services were held Monday for Mrs. Seymour Stickler, 23 years old, of Lockbridge, who died Saturday en route to a Hinton hospital.
Upon further investigation, her death certificate is on the WVCulture website. Her cause of death is listed as "Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy."

My heart hurts for her, Seymour, and their entire families.

Bess and Seymour's marriage was not a long one, and it would appear that they divorced before 1941.  Seymour is listed (as D for divorced) marrying a Martha Rorke (age 32, born in Pocahontas County, WV) on 18 Oct 1941 in Summers County, West Virginia. Seymour and Martha had at least six children together, one dying in infancy.

Gene Stickler and his mother, Bess Thomas Stickler
Bess passed away on 17 Jan 1996, at the age of 89. She is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, in Wadsworth, Medina County, Ohio. There is a memorial on for her.  Seymour died in Aug 1975, in Lockbridge, Summers County, West Virginia. I've posted his Obit (below) from the Beckley Post-Herald on 18 Aug 1975.

Bess and Seymour had one child, Gene Thomas Stickler. He also has a memorial on, which can be seen here.

Writing and learning about Bess, and even more about her husband Seymour, is intriguing to me. As it turns out, I was somehow destined to have a connection to Seymour. In a strange set of coincidences, Dorothy Spade, Seymour's first wife, was my Great Grand Aunt as she was my Paternal Great Grandfather's sister. Bess Thomas, Seymour's second wife, was ALSO my Great Grand Aunt being my other Paternal Great Grandfather's sister. This blog follows the research of my Paternal Grandmother's family by my Grand Aunt (my Paternal Grandmother's sister). Does that make any sense? Here's another way to explain it... My Paternal grandparents were Oather Spade and Glenna Thomas. Dorothy Spade was my Grandfather Oather Spade's Aunt. So Seymour was my Grandfather Oather's uncle by marriage. Bess was my Grandmother Glenna's Aunt, so Seymour was also my Grandmother's uncle by marriage. 

Weird enough yet?


Well, you're in luck! Because, while the details are still sketchy, my MOTHER's brother married a Stickler. In Northwest Ohio. My Aunt by marriage is indeed also related in some way to Seymour Stickler.


Unknown said...

I guess I'm part of her legacy too. Thanks for sharing.

Jodi said...

Yes! Yes, you are! Welcome to the Legacy!

Unknown said...

Aunt Bess was such a sweet lady and never treated me like some dumb kid. She would read me stories and spend time with me when we would visit. Often when we visited I would be the only kid so I had no one to play with. She would always make sure I was entertained. I was in my teens the last time I saw her and at the time she seemed to never change or age.

Sue Thomas said...

Hello and welcome Jan. I'm not sure if you will remember him or not, but my father in law was Russ Thomas. He and your dad were cousins and I know that he used to visit once in a while. I'm married to Russ' oldest son Donny or Don. Nice to re-connect! Love your music!